Four Eyes or Ivy Leafroller
(previously known as Arctephora immersana)
ARCHIPINI, TORTRICINAE, TORTRICIDAE, TORTRICOIDEA
Caterpillar with attached green mites
(Photo: Don Herbison-Evans, Sydney, New South Wales)
This Caterpillar is small and green, and is named after the four prominent black stripes on its head. These are merely pigmentation, and not actually eyes. The skin is nearly transparent, and the male can be distinguished by the pale yellow pair of gonads about two thirds the way along the body, straddling the main green blood vessel running down the centre of the back. The last abdominal segment and anal prolegs are white with a bluish tinge.
The caterpillar lives between leaves joined together with silk. If disturbed, it has several escape strategies: it can wriggle violently backwards, or drop on a thread, or exude a nasty dark green liquid from its mouth. It seems to feed on nearly any plant foliage. It has been found on many plants, particularly:
and is a pest on:
and feeds on plants from many other families, including:
The Caterpillar grows to a length of about 2 cms. It pupates in its leafy shelter.
The patterns of the male and female adults differ: the female has a subtle pattern of light and dark brown patches. She is also larger with a wingspan of about 3 cms.
The male is more uniformly dark brown with a golden area near the wing roots. He has a smaller wingspan: about 2.5 cms.
The moths rest so that their wings make a shape like the outline of a bell. Whilst the males are uniquely patterned, the females are similar to those of the related species Cryptoptila australana.
The species has been reported in
Further reading :
Ian F.B. Common,
Moths of Australia,
Melbourne University Press, 1990, pl. 24.10, pp. 68, 278.
Tortricites & Tineites,
List of the Specimens of Lepidopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum,
Part 28 (1863), p. 302, No. 69.
(updated 3 September 2011, 8 November 2017, 19 December 2020)