Moths of North Carolina
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4 NC Records

Coleophora ostryae Clemens, 1861 - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: ColeophoridaeSubfamily: ColeophorinaeP3 Number: 421552.00 MONA Number: 1295.00
Comments: The genus Coleophora is one of the most taxonomically challenging groups in North America. With only a few exceptions, most species cannot be identified based on photographs or external characters. The shape of the larval cases and host plants are very useful in identifying species, and high-quality dissections of genitalia are essential to recognize the majority of species. There are numerous species complexes with many undescribed species, and the taxonomy of Nearctic species remains largely unresolved. Here we treat forms that feed on American Hop Hornbeam as C. ostryae, with the understanding that these may represent several closely related forms.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Heinrich (1914)Technical Description, Immature Stages: McDunnough (1946a); Eiseman (2019)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based in part on the description by Heinrich (1914) for Coleophora carpinella. The labial palp is grayish white and tinged with reddish brown. The antenna is slightly thickened and reddish brown on the basal fourth. The remainder is white with distinct deep brown annulations. The face and head are brownish ocherous and shade to white on the sides. The forewing is deep reddish brown with darker dustings in the apical portion. There is a white streak along the costa from the base to the apex that narrows apically. In some specimens the streak is only faintly visible beyond the first third. The cilia shades from reddish brown on the apical margin to lead gray dorsally. The hindwing is dull steel gray, with the cilia steel gray along the costal margin, and lead gray along the dorsal margin. The abdomen is brown and dusted with grayish white above and beneath. The legs are light brown outwardly, and the tarsi are annulated with darker brown. The adults resemble those of certain other Coleophora (e.g., C. limosipennella) and are best identified by using genitalic characters or molecular markers (barcoding). The case shape, in combination with the host plant and/or reared adults, is also sufficient for identification.
Wingspan: 7 to 7.5 mm (Heinrich, 1914)
Adult Structural Features: McDunnough (1946a) has descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia, which are distinctive.
Immatures and Development: The larvae mine the undersides of the leaves of American Hop-hornbeam and other hosts. The first-instar larvae are leafminers, but the later instars feed on the surface while living in portable cases of silk that are replaced as they grow. The larva creates a small, circular hole where the case is attached and feeds internally on the plant tissues by extending its body through the hole. The larva may shift to a new feeding spot periodically, which creates small, irregular blotches on the leaf. Those from the summer hatch feed through the fall, then overwinter in their cases. They construct their final case and continue feeding during the spring. Pupation usually occurs on the upper side of the leaf within the case, and the adults emerge in June and July (Eiseman, 2019). The leaf case varies from brown to pale reddish-brown, and is 6–7 mm long and 1–1.5 mm wide. The posterior half is laterally compressed and the opening is bivalved (Eiseman, 2019). The edges are nearly parallel except near the mouth, which is deflected to 45 degrees or less. The dorsal edge is very rarely serrate, and is slightly curved. It sometimes has a slight notch near the squared-off apical end, which is flattened and slightly wider than the rest of the case (McDunnough, 1946a; Eiseman, 2019).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The range extends from the northeastern states and adjoining areas of Canada, then westward to Indiana and Kentucky, and southward to Florida. As of 2021, our records are from the eastern Piedmont.
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
Immature 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 found from May through August in areas outside of North Carolina. As of 2021, we have larval records from late May through July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The host plants occur in a variety of hardwood forests that range from stream margins and bottomland forests, to rich, mesic slopes and cove forests.
Larval Host Plants: The primary hosts appear to be American Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) and American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana). There are also records of this species using Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) and Bitternut Hickory (C. cordiformis) that appear to be valid (McDunnough, 1946a; Eiseman, 2019).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. We recommend searching for the cases and evidence of feeding on Hop Hornbeam or other hosts during the spring and rearing the adults.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Corylaceous Thickets and Understories
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S4
State Protection:
Comments: We have only three records as of 2021 that reflect the efforts of Tracy Feldman to document leafminers in the state. Additional information is need on the distribution and abundance of this species within the state before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Coleophora ostryae - No common name

Photos: 7

Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2022-06-06
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2022-06-06
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-05-29
Wake Co.
Comment: Larval mines on Ostrya virginiana.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-05-29
Wake Co.
Comment: A larval case on Ostrya virginiana.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2017-07-10
Durham Co.
Comment: Note the larval casing (upper left) and damage visible on Ostrya virginiana.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-07-02
Wake Co.
Comment: A view of a leaf mine on the upper leaf surface of Ostrya virginiana. The brown blotches below are mines of Coleophora ostryae. The lighter mine with finger-like projections that extend from the main mine is Caloptilia ostryaeella.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-07-02
Wake Co.
Comment: Larval mines on Ostrya virginiana.