First discovery in Norway of the elm-feeding moth Cydia
leguminana (Lienig & Zeller, 1846) (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae)
JØRN R. GUSTAD & LEIF AARVIK
Gustad, J.R. & Aarvik, L. 2021. First discovery in Norway of the elm-feeding moth Cydia leguminana
(Lienig & Zeller, 1846) (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae). Norwegian Journal of Entomology 68, 168–173.
A female specimen of Cydia leguminana (Lienig & Zeller, 1846) (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae) was
found in Western Norway in Møre og Romsdal at Molde: Eikesdalen, Ljåstranda in June 2020. The
circumstances of the record, the species’ biology, geographical range, identication and status are
outlined. Figures of the moth and its genitalia are given.
Key words: Lepidoptera, Tortricidae, Cydia leguminana, Ulmus glabra, Norway, rst record, biology,
Jørn R. Gustad, Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences, Molde University College –
Specialized University in Logistics, P.O. Box 2110, NO-6402 Molde, Norway. E-mail: jorn.r.gustad@
Leif Aarvik, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1172 Blindern, NO-0318 Oslo,
Norway. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The moth family Tortricidae is one of the larger
Lepidoptera families worldwide. It comprises
1 151 genera and 11 365 species (Gilligan
et al. 2018). The genus Cydia Hübner, 1825
(tribe Grapholitini, subfamily Olethreutinae) is
distributed worldwide and their larvae feed on
generative parts of plants or under bark (Razowski
2003). According to Razowski (2003) the number
of European Cydia species is 49. However, a
survey of recent literature shows that this number
has risen nearly to 60. The increase is caused by
new discoveries and taxonomic changes. Recent
discoveries of Cydia in Norway are C. albipicta
(Sauter, 1968) which had been confused with the
similar C. succedana (Denis & Schiermüller,
1775) and C. amplana (Hübner, 1800) which is
an expansive Mediterranean species (Aarvik et al.
2010). With the present record of C. leguminana
(Lienig & Zeller, 1846), the number of Cydia
species in Norway reaches 19. Cydia leguminana
was together with C. exquisitana (Rebel, 1889)
and C. seductana (Kuznetsov, 1962) placed by
Danilevsky & Kuznetsov (1968) in the section
“exquisitanae”. This is apparently a species-
group that is taxonomically and biologically
well-dened. Both C. leguminana and C.
exquisitana have larvae feeding under bark of
various deciduous trees (Razowski 2003). The
circumstances of the Norwegian capture of C.
leguminana indicate that the species in Norway
feeds under the bark of elm Ulmus glabra Huds.
Material and methods
The Norwegian specimen, a female, has the
following label data: Møre og Romsdal (MRI, EIS
78), Molde: Eikesdalen, Ljåstranda, 62.4941oN
8.1697oE, 14. June 2020, leg. Jørn R. Gustad,
genitalia slide NHMO 3834, coll. Natural History
© Norwegian Journal of Entomology. 18 June 2021
Museum, University of Oslo (NHMO) (Figures
1–3). The specimen was netted at CET 16:30 on a
mature pollard elm Ulmus glabra. The specimen
was frozen and sent by express mail to the Natural
History Museum, University of Oslo (NHMO).
It was set and dried with wings in standard
position. After drying the abdomen was removed,
macerated in 10% KOH, and the genitalia dissected
under a Leica MZ6 stereoscopic microscope and
embedded in Euparal on a glass slide.
The specimen was photographed in situ
(Figure 1) with a Canon D5MKIII camera with
macro lens (Canon MP-E 65 mm 1–5x) and
macro ash (Canon Macro Ring Lite MR14-
EX II). The pinned specimen (Figure 2) was
photographed with a Nikon D800E camera
with macro lens (Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60
mm), and the genitalia (Figure 3) with a Zeiss
Axiocam 506 colour camera mounted on a Zeiss
AX10 microscope. The locality (Figure 4) was
photographed with an iPhone SX.
Cydia leguminana is a small moth, wingspan
12–15 mm., the female usually is the largest
(Bradley et al. 1979). The forewing is dark
with a characteristic short, whitish dorsal patch,
often double-lined and slightly curved. C.
leguminana has smaller and more indistinct costal
strigulae than similar species. The hindwing is
lighter in the basal half. It is most likely to be
confused with C. cognatana (Barrett, 1874), C.
illutana (Herrich-Schäer, 1851), C. indivisa
(Danilevsky, 1963) and Grapholita lunulana
(Denis & Schiermüller, 1775). If the specimen
is worn, a broader range of species must be
considered. The genitalia of the Norwegian
specimen (Figure 3) agree with the illustrations
given by Razowski (2003) and Svensson (2006).
The Norwegian locality
The Norwegian locality is situated in the valley
Eikesdalen close to lake Eikesdalsvatnet. The site
faces west and is surrounded by deciduous forest.
The forest is dominated by Corylus avellana L. and
U. glabra, also with Alnus incana (L.) Moench,
Betula pubescens Ehrh. and Populus tremula L.
Ulmus glabra is dominant at the site, with several
FIGURE 1. Cydia leguminana (Lienig & Zeller, 1846). The Norwegian specimen photographed alive in resting
position. Photo: Jørn R. Gustad.
Norwegian Journal of Entomology 68, 168
FIGURE 2. Cydia leguminana (Lienig & Zeller, 1846). The Norwegian specimen with wings spread. Photo:
FIGURE 3. Cydia leguminana (Lienig & Zeller,
1846). The genitalia of the Norwegian specimen.
Photo: Leif Aarvik.
mature pollarded trees. The tree on which the
specimen was found is a stand-alone tree situated
on an old cultivated patch grazed by animals at
the foot of a steep hillside 32 meters above mean
sea level (Figure 4). The tree is situated about
10 meters from the public road and about 50
meters from the lake. The valley, Eikesdalen, is
famous for its rich diversity and Norway’s largest
populations of mature C. avellana and pollard
U. glabra. Several outstanding botanical records
by European standards give evidence for a relict
habitat in a broad context. For a general and
detailed botanical description, see Jordal (2005).
For information on the distribution of pollard U.
glabra in Eikesdalen, and pollarded trees in Møre
og Romsdal county, see Jordal (2011).
Distribution and biology
Cydia leguminana has a Palaearctic distribution.
It is distributed in most countries from England
and France in the west, to North Africa in the
south and to China and Korea in the east (Bradley
et al. 1979, Karsholt & Razowski 1996, Razowski
2003, Aarvik et al. 2017, Anonym 2020). The
Gustad & Aarvik: First discovery in Norway of Cydia leguminana
FIGURE 4. The Norwegian site. Cydia leguminana (Lienig & Zeller, 1846) was found on this stand-alone
pollarded elm Ulmus glabra Huds.. The photo was taken on the 28th. February 2021 and shows that the tree has
not been pollarded in recent years. Photo: John Bjarne Jordal.
species is Red-listed EN (Endangered) in Sweden
(Anonym 2020), strongly indicating that it is rare
in Norway as well. With 8 records in Sweden (5
records (1968, 1977, 1979, 1992, 1993) (op. cit.),
3 records (2013, 2016 (2), 2019 (3)) (The Swedish
Species Information Centre) and 77 records (141
individuals) in Finland (Kaila & Mutanen 2021),
this indicates a population stronger towards the
east, albeit it is Red-listed VU (Vulnerable) in
Finland. It is also indicated in the English name -
Eastern Piercer. The records in Denmark (Falster,
Lolland and Møn (Anonym, 2020)), England,
Finland and Sweden indicate a SE distribution in
these countries. The overall impression in Europe
is local occurrence and sparse records, and the
species has not been recorded from Poland since
1960 (op. cit.). This even though Sheldon (1921)
caught about 50 adult specimens over one week
of hard work at the famous site Wicken Fen,
Cambridgeshire in 1915. At this site the species
disappeared when the pollarded elm trees were
cut down in 1976 (Johnson 1978). In England
(previously found in Cambridgeshire and Essex)
it is not recorded since 1976, before it again was
recorded in Bedfordshire in 2015 (Manning 2015).
The Norwegian record is from about 400 km. NW
of the northernmost locality in Sweden.
The ight period is from mid-May to early
July. Adult specimens y in sunshine in the
afternoon, and can be beaten from bark/branches/
leaves in the morning/daytime when they are
sluggish (Sheldon 1921); they are also attracted to
light at night (Anonym 2020). As a species laying
eggs under bark, spraying the bark with water may
be an eective method of ushing out the adult
moth at daytime. The species is univoltine and
hibernates as larva. The ovum is dull red when
laid, becoming light grey and slightly opalescent
Norwegian Journal of Entomology 68, 168
after about a week; surface of chorion rough and
irregularly reticulate (Sheldon 1921). Sheldon
(1921) reported the larvae to be active from
August to March. In England larvae were found
on pollarded Ulmus minor Mill. on excrescences
which have soft bark (Sheldon 1921). The species
is obviously polyphagous as Disqué (1905)
reported nding larvae under bark on Fagus L.
(in November) and Acer L. (29. March). Schütze
(1931) found it on Acer pseudoplatanus L. and
Fagus; on beech trunks it was present where
there were wounds, living in a web covered
with excrement where dry and fresh bark meet,
gnawing the latter. It is also reported on Alnus
Mill., Fagus sylvatica L. and Ulmus procera
Salisb. (Ellis 2020). Emmet (1978) reported old
records from England partly on Carpinus betulus
L. He also mentioned Abies Mill. as a possible
host. Razowski (2003) also notes Betula L. and
Salix L. Ellis (2020) also states that the larva
lives in a frass-lled silk tube in recovering bark
wounds, preferably in the youngest tissue. Disque
(1905) did not mention this tube, but described
the larvae as whitish with grey spots, with head,
neck shield and anal plate dark brown, with some
variation. It pupated in spring, April–May. The
pupa is light reddish brown with paler wings,
head blunt and rounded (Sheldon 1921). Given the
distance to the closest known locality, the species’
biology and the suitability of the locality, we are
convinced that the species is native to Norway.
We expect that thorough search for C. leguminana
in suitable habitats in Western Norway will lead
to additional discoveries of the species. However,
the site in Eikesdalen may be of especially
high nature quality as another Lepidoptera elm
specialist was found on the same visit, namely
Stigmella lemniscella (Zeller, 1839), listed as
CR (critically endangered) in the Norwegian
Red-list. The present record, and records from
England, indicates that old-fashion land use
involving pollarding of elm trees favours the
species. This has implications for protection of
both biodiversity and areas where old agricultural
methods and land use still exist. The Dutch elm
disease (caused by Ophiostoma novo-ulmi Brasier
and/or Ophiostoma ulmi Melin & Nannf.) is a
threat to this special habitat and a number of
insect species feeding on elm. The disease has not
yet reached Western Norway, but was recorded
in Bergen in 1997 (Solheim 2012). Solheim (op.
cit.) reports the disease for the rst time in 1963
(O. ulmi), again in 1972, and after the second
epidemic in 1981 (O. novo-ulmi), it is established
in a chronic stage in Eastern Norway. Solheim (op.
cit.) mentions that the slow spreading in Norway
may be connected with one or several of the
following factors: (1) Climatic change involving
higher temperature, (2) the vector (the large elm
bark beetle Scolytus laevis Chapuis, 1869), (3)
the fungus, and/or (4) tree population structure.
The population of the red deer Cervus elaphus
Linnaeus, 1758, has grown strongly, and Jordal
(2011) alerts the species’ negative eect on elm of
all ages, caused by bark and root gnawing. Jordal
(op. cit.) concludes that the ecologic damage of
bark stripping has by far exceeded an acceptable
level. Even though C. leguminana is present on
other tree species in Central Europe, it is uncertain
whether it is able to adapt to other tree species
in Northern Europe. Fagus is not an alternative
host as it is not distributed naturally in Western
Norway. We suspect the reason for the preference
for pollarded elm trees is due to the presence of
coarse and rough bark.
Several species of Lepidoptera have isolated
populations along ords and in valleys in western
Norway, e.g. Acasis appensata (Eversmann, 1842),
Acrolepiopsis betulella (Curtis, 1838), Athrips
amoenella (Frey, 1882), Cerastis leucographa
(Denis & Schiermüller, 1775), Elachista
obliquella Stainton, 1854 and Paratalanta
hyalinalis (Hübner, 1796). Cydia leguminana
might well turn out to have a similar range. The
fact that it has not been discovered in the rather
well explored southeastern part of the country
makes this likely. This shows the importance of
nding such populations and seeking to protect
them for the future.
Gustad & Aarvik: First discovery in Norway of Cydia leguminana
Acknowledgements. We thank Georey Acklam for
improving the English and John Bjarne Jordal for letting us
use his photo of the tree.
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Received: 31 March 2021
Accepted: 21 May 2021
Norwegian Journal of Entomology 68, 168