Acleris celiana?

Acleris celiana moth
Acleris celiana


These tiny Tortricid moths with white stripes along their wing margins are really confusing me. On Monday I wrote about a moth that didn’t seem to be a close fit with the description for the species Ancylis albacostana which I thought it might be. It was by accident I figured it out. The moth is Acleris celiana and not an Ancylis at all. I was out on my porch Monday night sipping espresso and taking photos of little moths, caddisflies, and some sort of wasp (a species of Ophion I think) when this same kind of moth flew in. I got one shot before it took off and had to wait awhile before it came back and I could get more shots. Later, while going through photos on the Moth Photographers Group (MPG) trying to figure out another species I came across this which looks a lot like the moth I had just found. I have posted the images on Bug Guide and BAMONA and am awaiting comments on the species identity. (Update on 05-29-18: Bug Guide says it is Acleris celiana not Ancylis albacostana.)

Coleman first described Acleris celiana in 1869 under the name Teras celiana. “Anterior wings rich dark chocolate-brown slightly mottled with dark gray. There is a tuft of pale ochreous scales on the center of the disk, and beyond, in the apical portion of the wing a few scattered similarly colored raised scales. Fringes gray.” There is no mention of the white band. However, both Bug Guide and MPG show specimens of Acleris celiana with and without white bands.

Kearfott’s description of Ancylis albacosana reads “Fore wing lead color, rather heavily overlaid on inner two-thirds below the costa (main vein along leading edge of wing) with brownish and blackish scales. From the base to the apex on the costa is a pure white band, widest at end of cell, where it is nearly a quarter the width of wing; continuing to base with only a trifle less width, and lower edge curving evenly into costa and ending in a point at apex.”

I’m leaning strongly towards Acleris celiana on this one. Finding Ancylis albacostana would be great but the species is not, as far as I know, documented from Minnesota although there is at least one record from adjacent Wisconsin.

As for the rest of Monday night’s mothing, I found three more moth species and got a very clean shot of the caddisfly Glyphopsyche irrorata. Two of the moths are in Agonopterix (possibly A. canadensis and A. clemensella) and one is another Acleris (possibly Acleris forbesana). And now it is 10:10 PM Tuesday night and I’m staying up late looking for more moths. So far I have two new ones to figure out.




Kearfott, William Dunham (1905). Descriptions of New Species of Tortricid Moths From North Carolina, With Notes. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, Vol. 28: 319-364. Description on page 360.

Robinson, Coleman, T. (1869). Notes on American Tortricidae. Transaction of the American Entomological Society (1867-1877). Vol. 2 (1868/1869):261-288. Description on page 283-284.

Genus Ophion – Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasps at Bug Guide.

Species Acleris celiana – Hodges#3533 at Bug Guide.

620033.00 – 3533 – Acleris celiana – (Robinson, 1869) at Moth Photographers Group.

One thought on “Acleris celiana?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.