Grape Leafroller – Desmia funeralis

Desmia funeralis or possibly, Desmia maculalis

A significant white spot on the head is, according to the Covell Field Guide, a characteristic mark of Desmia maculalis. Brian Scholtens informs me that this is not a reliable character and that two species (D. maculalis and D. funeralis) cannot be distinguished in typical dorsal view photos. It would be necessary to see mouth parts at high magnification or examine genitalia to make specific determinations. It is best to consider photos of these species as representing a species group.

Moth Photographers Group

imageΒ  image

The caterpillar host plants are evening primrose, grapes and redbud. As their name suggests, as larvae, they roll themselves in leaves and nibble on the inner curl.

The grape leafroller is a minor pest to the wine industry. Severe outbreaks can happen when their natural predators are low. Many times the leafroller attacks after harvest, when the farmers have stopped treating for pests. Unfortunately, the defoliation may cause a reduced crop size next season. 😯

Honestly, had I had this information available to me when I had it on my finger, this post may have ended in a funeralis…


Β© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

19 thoughts on “Grape Leafroller – Desmia funeralis

  1. When she was young my little daughter called them moffers. And they only drink a little wine and anyway what amazing chemicals do the grape growers splash all over the paddocks? I’d like to know because although I’ve given up whisky I still wanna have a glass of wine.


  2. What a dramatic name: ‘funeralis’. Luckily your shots speak so much more about life. Such a ‘niche’ topic! Loving that you’re bringing up the attention on such a small bug that does have a significant impact on our world (of wine), like they all do. Butterfly effect I suppose πŸ™‚


  3. Goodness, for someone who deals with the earth, your fingernails are enormous πŸ˜€ We don’t want any of those over here thanks, our baby vines have enough to cope with with all the weeds πŸ˜‰


    • It was only the second time I’ve seen one of these guys, so hopefully their numbers are low.
      I think of my nails as digging tools.. Don’t let my manicurist know! Although I don’t break many, it’s no biggie when I do as they are sculptured and can be fixed in a salon visit. πŸ’…
      BTW – my dogs sure love the scratching!


  4. Damn, how do you keep your fingernails so long? When I had acrylics, I tried for awhile to have them that length, but I kept slipping my hand on the car door all the time and bending them all back. Have you done that before? It hurts like an ever-loving bitch.


    • I think it was just me getting used to them. I’ve been doing my nails since I was about 16. I also get them done very curved. . Claw-like. This makes them structurally stronger, a bit less of a chance of the “bend back”. Oh yes… I have had a few nasty rips in my day. Ichiwawa! Do those bleed! 😲 Luckily, they mostly break (at the real nail line) before my nail breaks.
      These nails have really come in handy to get what I want. .. How you ask?
      First, if you don’t already know. .. boys are simple creatures. . Not unlike dogs. A little scratch on the arm while asking to get into the bar without paying cover works every time. Even my husband turns to mush while receiving a back scratch. .. that’s when I drop bombs like, “Sorry honey, I dented your truck. .” He just grunts and pushes into my scratches πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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