Choristoneura lambertiana (Busck)

  • Latin name: Choristoneura lambertiana (Busck)
  • French name:
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Tortricidae


British Columbia, Newfoundland

This species occurs in the southern interior of British Columbia south of 500 latitude; it also extends to California.


Needle, Cone, Bud

Damage, symptoms and biology

A sustained outbreak occurred in the Screw Creek area east of Yahk in 1963-65. Choristoneura lambertiana primarily feeds on the reproductive structures of the host plant. Cones are often completely excavated and aborted.

Mature larvae up to 15 mm long. Head, reddish tan to reddish amber. Thoracic shield in male pale to dark reddish brown, in female, nearly all tan to pale reddish tan. Body, reddish brown to pale rust, dorsum of each abdominal segment marked with two pairs of pale spots.

The budworm overwinters as a second instar larva protected in a hibernacula on a branch. Emergence is usually delayed until buds and staminate cones have developed sufficiently to make them a suitable food source. Early emerging larvae may mine needles. Larvae feed primarily on staminate cones but will also feed on female cones and on foliage along the elongating shoot. Larvae feed for 4 to 6 weeks. The pupal period lasts approximately 2 weeks, adult emergence begins in mid-July and extends through the end of July. Eggs are deposited in a cluster on the needles of the host from late July to early August. The clusters consist of two rows of pale green eggs laid in an overlapping fashion along the axis of the needle. The number of eggs in a cluster can be up to 83, with a mean of 22 eggs. The eggs incubate for 9 to 13 days. First-instar larvae migrate from the needles to protected locations on the branches and spin a hibernaculum.

Canadian Forest Service Publications

Diet and feeding behaviour

  • Heteroconophagous : Feeds occasionally on seeds and cones, but usually lives and feeds on stems and needles.
    • Ectophagous: Exposed insect that feeds without penetrating its animal or plant host.
    : Feeds occasionally on seeds and cones, but usually lives and feeds on stems and needles.
    • Miner: Feeds inside the blade of a leaf, between the epidermal layers, or beneath the bark of plants, by first excavating a mine into these tissues.
Information on host(s)

The principal host of Choristoneura lambertiana is lodgepole pine; it also occurs on ponderosa pine.

Main host(s)

Lodgepole pine

Secondary host(s)

Balsam fir, ponderosa pine, red alder, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir

Date modified: