Tortricinae Wingspan 14-24mm. Medium sized broad winged moths. They hold the wings flat over their bodies, and have a bell shaped outline at rest, caused by a very convex base to the costa, which is then often rather distally excavated with a variably prominent apex producing a typical shape best seen in the genera Pandemis, Archips and Acleris. The forewing pattern consists of a darker basal patch, an outwardly oblique median fascia, and a subapical blotch. This typical pattern is however obscured in some species. Most of their larvae feed concealed in rolled or joined leaves or in spun shoots (from which they get the family name, Tortrix, meaning twister), and are often quite polyphagous on the foliage of various trees and shrubs, including conifers. Some species feed on herbaceous plants, some are more oligophagous and a few feed on fruits, berries, flowers and seed heads. Most overwinter as larvae and complete their feeding in the spring. Imagines of some of the genus Acleris hibernate and some are very polymorphic. Many fly actively in the late afternoon and evening or at dusk and sometimes come to light traps. They may often be disturbed in the day.
Chlidanotinae Wingspan 11-16mm Only two species classified separately because of significant genitalia differences but otherwise with similar life histories to the Tortricinae.
Cochylini Somewhat smaller moths which have a characteristic resting posture with the closed wings forming a sharp ridge, and are often coloured white, yellow, pink or orange with variable darker markings, sometimes including metallic spots or striae. Their larvae feed internally in seed heads, roots, shoots and stems, mostly of herbaceous plants but some feed in berries and fruits of shrubs and small trees. Some are active in the day as well as later in the evening.
Olethreutinae Wingspan 11-16mm. with a few as small as 9-11mm. or as big as 16-24mm. Small to medium sized moths with broad wings and a straighter costa than the Tortricini and whose wing markings and life histories are more specialised and varied. Some have similar wing patterns but typically they have a pale or dark dorsal blotch with white or pale costal marks (strigulae) and a circular marking at the tornus, often containing metallic scales, called an ocellus. There are however many variations on this basic scheme and some are polymorphic. Their larvae have very varied life histories, feeding in spinnings in leaves, shoots, flowers and seed heads and internally in stems, buds, roots, berries, seedpods, fruits and cones. They tend to be oligophagous or monophagous, and often feed on herbaceous plants. Some species are bivoltine. A few are diurnal and fly in sunshine but most are active in late afternoon and evening. Some come to light and some can be found resting on tree trunks in the day.