Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFTischeriidae Members: 6 NC Records

Astrotischeria heliopsisella (Chambers, 1875) - No Common Name



view caption

view caption

view caption
Taxonomy
Family: TischeriidaeP3 Number: 230007.00 MONA Number: 159.00
Comments: This is one of 13 described species of Astrotischeria in North America. Most species feed on members of the Asteraceae.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based primarily on the description by Braun (1972). The face is ocherous and the tuft has brown-tipped or brown scales. The antennal stalk of the male has long cilia versus fine short cilia on the female. The thorax and forewing is bright ocher to dull brownish ocher, with more or less brownish or blackish dusting. The costal margin is often heavily dusted with dark brown or blackish scales for its entire length. There is a median dark brown streak on the thorax and a similar streak over the tegula that extend onto the dorsal margin of the forewing for one-fourth its length. A short brown streak extends from the base of the forewing to about one-fourth. An oblique dark streak extends from the basal third of the costa across the wing that sometimes is broken on the fold, and sometimes meets a dark spot on the middle of the dorsum. There is a second oblique streak that is parallel to the first streak beginning at the apical third of the costa. It is broad on the costa, but on some specimens becomes reduced and broken towards the basal margin. In dusted specimens, dark scales may follow from the termen to the apex. Between these two streaks, a fine line of brown scales from the costa may be connected to them by broken longitudinal lines of scales. From the middle of the second oblique streak, there are two indistinct lines that run to the base of the apical cilia. The cilia are ocherous or brownish. In paler specimens there is a distinct line of dark-tipped scales projecting into them around the apex. The hindwing is fuscous to sometimes blackish. When blackish, the cilia are contrastingly paler. The fore and middle legs are brownish fuscous, and the hind legs ocherous. The tarsal segments are annulated at the joints, or sometimes entirely yellow. This species has wing markings that are very similar to those of A. ambrosiaeella and individuals often deviate substantially from the general description above. These two species are most reliably distinguished by using either genitalia or leaf mine characteristics. Both produce similar mines and use Giant Ragweed, but differ in the color of the pupation chamber (nidus). When viewed from the upper leaf surface, A.heliopsisella produces a bright white nidus, versus a greenish nidus for A. ambrosiaeella.
Wingspan: Alar expanse 7 to 8.5 mm (Braun, 1972).
Adult Structural Features: Braun (1972) provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. The following is based on her work. In males the vinculum is broadly rounded, the harpe is divided, and the costal area is broad near the base and heavily sclerotized, including the entire base of the harpe. A median small tooth is present near the base of costa. From there, the costa soon abruptly narrows into a long curved acute tooth. The cucullus is slender, acutely rounded at the apex, and setose. A juxta is present as a narrow band, The anellus is cylindric, with lateral acute sclerotized processes. The aedeagus is very large, bulbous at base, and forks at the middle, with each fork broadly expanded at the tip. The socii are elongate and surpass the acute triangular forks of the uncus. In females, the ovipositor lobes are small, the peg setae are slender and dark, the lateral lobes are very small, and the setae variable. The sex opening is transverse with the anterior margin with a median projection. The posterior apophyses are slender. The arms of the patibulum are slender and approximate at the origin. The prela is slender throughout, with a lateral sharp point at the tips. The enlarged portion of the ductus bursae has a tuberculate band.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: Females lay iridescent eggs on the upper leaf surface. The hatchling initially produces a 1-2 mm, trumpet-shaped mine in which all the green tissue is eaten, but it is later surrounded by the enlarged, irregular blotch mine. In the early stages of the mine the green tissue is not completely consumed and the mine has a greenish aspect that obstructs the view of the nidus. As feeding continues, all green tissue is eaten, except in the circular area where the nidus is situated near the beginning of the mine (Braun, 1972). At the time of pupation the nidus is densely lined with silk and is conspicuously white. On the underside of the leaf it forms a rounded protuberance. At emergence, the pupa is thrust through the lower epidermis (rarely the upper). The larvae most commonly mine the leaves of Heliopsis helianthoides and Ambrosia trifida. Braun (1972) noted that the mines are often very abundant on Heliopsis, and those of a later generation may be present on the same leaf with those of the previous generation.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Scattered populations of A. heliopsisella have been found in the eastern US and California. In the East, populations have been found in the Midwest eastward to New Jersey, and as far south and west as North Carolina, Missouri, and Texas (Eiseman, 2019). As of 2021, our three records for North Carolina are from the Blue Ridge.
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: In Ohio, Braun (1972) found mines of the first brood in June, with the adults emerging in early July or sometimes as late as August. A second brood finished mining in late August or early September, with adults emerging in September and October. Some remained in the pupal state until the following spring, but others appear to overwinter as adults. As of 2021, our three records of occupied mines are from mid-July through early October.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Females most frequently oviposit on either Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) or Smooth Oxeye (Heliopsis helianthoides). These species are often found in moist, disturbed habitats such as floodplains, fields, the edges of forest roads, and a variety of other open and edge habitats.
Larval Host Plants: The known host plants include several species of ragweed (Ambrosia), at least one species of sunflower (Helianthus sp.), and Smooth Oxeye (Heliopsis helianthoides). As of 2021, we have records for this species using both A. trifida and H. helianthoides.
Observation Methods: The adults appear to only rarely visit lights and most records are for reared adults. We recommend searching for the mines on Giant Ragweed, Smooth Oxeye, and other suitable hosts.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Montane Forblands and Successional Fields
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: We currently do not have sufficient information on the distribution and abundance of this species within the state to determine its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Astrotischeria heliopsisella - No common name

Photos: 14

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-03
Madison Co.
Comment: Occupied mine was on Heliopsis helianthoides.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-03
Madison Co.
Comment: Occupied mine was on Heliopsis helianthoides.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-03
Madison Co.
Comment: Occupied mine was on Heliopsis helianthoides.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-08-06
Graham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-23
Graham Co.
Comment: A leaf of Heliopsis helianthoides with nine young mines. Reared adults emerged were found on 6 August (see companion photo of adult).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-23
Graham Co.
Comment: A leaf of Heliopsis helianthoides with two fused mines. Two dead adults were found in the rearing bag on 6 August (see companion photo of adult).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-23
Graham Co.
Comment: A backlit image of a leaf of Heliopsis helianthoides with two fused mines. Two dead adults were found in the rearing bag on 6 August (see companion photo of adult).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-10
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-10
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-09
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-09
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-09
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A view of the upper surface of Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) with two mines and a bright white pupation chamber (nidus).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-17
Madison Co.
Comment: A view of the upper surface of Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) with a completed mine and bright white pupation chamber (nidus).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-17
Madison Co.
Comment: A view of the upper surface of Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) with a completed mine and bright white pupation chamber (nidus).