Moths of North Carolina
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55 NC Records

Glyphidocera juniperella Adamski, 1987 - Juniper Tip Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GlyphidoceridaeSubfamily: [Glyphidocerinae]P3 Number: 420020.00 MONA Number: 1136.10
Comments: Glyphidocera is a large but poorly studied genus with numerous undescribed species in the Neotropics, where they reach their greatest diversity. Adamski (2005) described 88 new species from Costa Rica alone. There are currently 11 described species in North America, and seven species in North Carolina. They are small to medium-sized moths and, with rare exceptions, vary from pale yellowish brown to dark brown. Most have few, if any, diagnostic markings on the wings. Host associations are unknown for almost all species, which suggests that they may be detritivores or fungivores that do not feed on living plants.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Adamski and Brown (1987)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Adamski and Brown (1987)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based on the description by Adamski and Brown (1987). The palps are strongly recurved and reach backwards to the middle of the head. The head, thorax, antenna, labial palp and forewing are covered with a mixture of dark brown and grayish orange scales. There are typically two conspicuous dark-brown spots near the middle of the wing, one just before one-half and the second at about two-thirds the wing length. The first may have an accompanying spot that is slightly anterior to the first and displaced towards the inner margin. In addition, specimens sometimes have a very small dark brown spot near the wing base. The fringe is brownish-gray. The hindwing is light orange-gray at the base, and more grayish-orange apically.

Glyphidocera juniperella resembles several other Glyphidocera in terms of the overall brownish appearance and spot pattern. This species is generally darker than the others, and the dark brown and lighter grayish-orange scales on the forewing are nearly equally represented, which gives a distinctive coarse-grained appearance to the forewings. In most of the other species, the lighter scales tend to predominate. Glyphidocera democratica is most similar, but the terminal region of the forewing and fringe is heavily dusted with grayish-black scales and the first dark-brown spot is noticeably larger than the second (both are about the same size in G. juniperella).
Forewing Length: 7.0-8.5 mm (Adamski and Brown, 1987)
Adult Structural Features: Adamski and Brown (1987) provide detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia, which are distinctive. The male can be to distinguished from closely related forms by the presence of an irregular transverse row of abdominal sex scales on the anterior margins of terga III and IV, and the lack of scale tufts.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Schiffhauer and Mizell (1987) studied this species in a Florida nursery where the larvae often disfigure ornamental junipers. The first generation begins in early May, and there are three generations per year. Females lay eggs singly or in groups of up to 10 and the eggs hatch in about a week. The larvae feed on both the dead needles and the outer bark of small stems. They can girdle small stems and cause flagging. The authors considered the larvae to be detritivores that primarily feed on the dried needles. The full-grown larvae are 12-16 mm long and have a grayish-brown body. The head capsule, prothoracic shield, anal plate, pinacula, and legs are dark brown. Late-instar larvae and pupae from the last seasonal brood overwinter and the adult emerge after the spring warm-up.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Glyphidocera juniperella is primarily found in the southeastern US. The range extends from Maryland and West Virginia southward to Florida, and westward through the Gulf Coast states to central Texas and Oklahoma. Isolated records also exist for Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. This species occurs statewide in North Carolina, from the Outer Banks to the lower elevations in the mountains. Populations are found locally where Eastern Red Cedar and other junipers are present.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Adults have been observed from March through October in areas outside of North Carolina. North Carolina populations appear to have two or more broods in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, but only one in the mountains. Breeding begins in May and extends through late summer or early fall.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations are dependent on junipers as host plants, and presumably use both Southern Red Cedar and Eastern Red Cedar as hosts. The former is common on barrier islands where it can be found in maritime forests, on dunes, and along the edges of tidal marshes. Eastern Red Cedar tends to be an early successional species and prefers neutral soils. It is common along fencerows, old fields, rocky slopes, and in hardwood or mixed pine-hardwood forests with openings and relatively dry, thin soils.
Larval Host Plants: Adamski and Brown (1987) described this species from larvae collected on cultivated Juniperus horizontalis. That species is native to the northern US and Canada, and red cedars seem like the most likely hosts in North Carolina. Glyphidocera juniperella is abundant at Fort Macon (J.B. Sullivan, pers. obs.), where Southern Red Cedar (Juniperus silicicola) is also common. Our other records come from farther west, where Eastern Red Cedar (J. virginiana) is the most likely host.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. Observations of host use are needed, so we recommend searching for larvae and rearing adults.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Cedar Woodlands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S4S5
State Protection:
Comments: This species occurs statewide and appears to be relatively secure.

 Photo Gallery for Glyphidocera juniperella - Juniper Tip Moth

55 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-08-03
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-08-01
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-30
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Lior Carlson, Becky Watkins, Richard Teper, Stephen Dunn on 2022-07-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-07-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-05-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2022-05-27
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2022-05-26
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Becky Watkins on 2022-05-25
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-06
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-04-26
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-11-02
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2021-08-18
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2021-08-10
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Lior Carlson on 2021-07-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Lior Carlson on 2021-07-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-06-01
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-22
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-17
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-06
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-06
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-04-23
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-11-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Randy Newman on 2020-10-12
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-09-23
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-19
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-04
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-31
Orange Co.
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