Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics / Zoological Museum Amsterdam




Arthropods of Economic Importance: Eurasian Tortricidae

by Lynn Meijerman


The moth family Tortricidae is of great economic importance. A wide variety of agricultural and horticultural crops and forests suffer considerable loss due to the feeding of the caterpillars of several hundreds of representatives of this family. The demands for expertise on reliable identification of pest species is growing fast due to the application of biological control which dictates specific identification of the damaging species.

males of Archips podana

Because there are so many species and such a wide variety of crops involved, the number of publications on Tortricidae are numerous. The CD-ROM that is currently being prepared aims to provide all applied entomologists working in agriculture, forestry and horticulture, as well as in plant-protection and quarantine, easy access to recent knowledge on 190 Eurasian Tortricidae of economic importance.

For each pest species, a so-called species card provides information on its taxonomy, life history, hosts, distribution, pheromones and parasitoids, as well as pictures of the different stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult) and the diagnostic characters. Non-pest species that could be confused with the pest-species are shortly described and illustrated as well, giving characters to distinguish them from the pest-species.


Species card on Archips podana

The CD-ROM also provides a picture-key to the species which is much easier to use than the traditional dichotomous taxonomic keys. The user is taken by the hand along pictures of characters with diagnostic value. Identification is done by comparing these pictures and choosing for the characters corresponding with those in the specimen that has to be identified. Each choice leads to a following set of characters among which a choice has to be made till identification has been completed. Most of the characters used are colour patterns or shapes of certain structures, mostly of the genitalia. Characters that may have phylogenetic value, but are difficult to interpret by those without a taxonomic background are ignored.

Both the picture-key and the species-cards are linked to an illustrated glossary, explaining the names of all structures.


Decision-card in the Picture Key