Tortricodes alternella

Alternative names
Winter Shade

Wingspan 19 to 23 mm. This is a highly variable sometimes sooty looking species that has an unusually narrow wing shape for a Tortrix.

Identification difficulty

Woodland and well wooded areas particularly those containing the preferred foodplants.

When to see it

One of the earliest of the Tortricids to be on the wing, this species can be found between February and April, and even appearing in January when conditions are favourable.

Life History

The foodplants are a range of trees and bushes, chiefly Oak and Hornbeam, but often also other species. The larva spins together leaves to feed within.

UK Status

Quite common throughout England, Wales and southern Scotland. It is local in Ireland. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = A (common and resident).

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map