Leaf Rollers

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

leaf rollers, also called leaf folders (see moths), insects which cause damage to vines at the caterpillar stage (and nothing whatever to do with leafroll virus disease). As the name suggests, they form the leaf into a roll, and feed on the edge of the leaf inside the roll. The roll restricts the exposed leaf surface, and the feeding reduces the leaf area. In California, both the grape leaf roller (Desmia funeralis) and the omnivorous leaf roller (Platynota stultana) are serious vineyard pests. In Australia, a native leaf roller, the light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana), is the country’s most serious insect pest, feeding on a wide range of native and imported plants, including grapevines. As well as feeding on young shoots, the larvae cause damage by feeding on berries, resulting in yield reductions of up to 10%, and allowing the entry of botrytis and other bunch rots. The light brown apple moth was found in California in 2007 and aerial spraying of pheromones caused some public outrage.