Maple Trumpet Skeletonizer
Epinotia aceriella (Clemens)

Hanson, T., and E. B. Walker. [n.d.] Field guide to common insect pests of urban trees in the Northeast. Waterbury, VT: Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

Lepidoptera: Tortricidae

Hosts: Sugar and red maples, occasionally hawthorn and beech

Evidence: Look for trumpetlike tubes of silk and frass on undersides of leaves (a). A leaf may appear to have a pleat, where it has been folded back on itself to contain the "trumpet".

Life Cycle: Winter is spent in the pupal stage on the ground, with adult moths emerging from June to early July. Eggs are laid singly on undersurfaces of leaves, and larvae may be seen from early July through early October, feeding between two major veins on the undersurface of leaves within the trumpetlike tube (b). Fully-grown larvae drop to the ground and form cocoons of pieces of leaves, within which pupation takes place.

Management: Injury is obvious, but damage is late-season and usually of little consequence. Skeletonized leaves can be handpicked and destroyed. Raking and destroying leaves can also reduce populations in urban tree settings.

a. Trumpetlike tube of frass and silk constructed by the Maple trumpet skeletonizer.

b. Close-up of trumpet construction by larva of the Maple trumpet skeletonizer.

Similar Species: A similar species occurs on oak.

Photo Credits:

Figure a: E. Bradford Walker, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Waterbury, VT.

Figure b: E. Bradford Walker, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Waterbury, VT


Drooz, A.T. 1985. Insects of Eastern Forests. USDA Forest Service Miscellaneous Publication 1426. p 157-158;

Johnson, W.T. and Lyon, H.H. 1991. Insects That Feed on Trees and Shrubs. 2nd edition. Cornell University Press. p 212-213;

Martineau, R. 1984. Insects Harmful to Forest Trees. Agriculture Canada Government Publishing Centre, Supply and Services, Ottawa. p 189 and 191;

Rose, A.H. and Lindquist, O.H. 1982. Insects of Eastern Hardwood Trees. Canadian Forest Service Publication, Forestry Technical Report 29. p 116-117.

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