Moths of North Carolina
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Fascista Members:
76 NC Records

Fascista cercerisella (Chambers, 1872) - Redbud Leaffolder Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 421157.00 MONA Number: 2204.00
Comments: The genus Fascista contains only three species, and all are found in North America.
Species Status: The Redbud Leaffolder is a pest in some areas of its range where Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is grown in nurseries or as an ornamental. Heavily infested trees may lose many of their leaves or have contorted, brown leaves that make them less attractive as ornamentals.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Chambers, 1872.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Adults are easily recognized by the dark-brown to velvety black forewing that has boldly patterned white spots. The labial palp, head, and collar are white. The third segment of the palp is white except at the base, and the antenna is dark. The forewing has four large white spots. These include a relatively large spot or bar at about one-fourth the wing length that extends inward to the fold, a smaller costal spot at about three-fifths, and a costal and opposing dorsal spot in the subapical region. A few whitish specks are sometimes present at the base of the fringe. The costal cilia are brown basally and whitish apically. The hindwing is pale drab and faintly pink tinged along the costa and near the anal angle (Forbes, 1923). Fascista quinella is similar, but has a pair of costal and dorsal spots just beyond the middle of the forewing, instead of a single costal spot as seen in Fascista cercerisella .
Wingspan: 15 mm (Hyche, 2002)
Forewing Length: Total length around 7-9 mm (Leckie and Beadle, 2018)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae feed on the upper leaf surfaces of Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). Feeding occurs within a protective shelter that is constructed by folding the edge of the leaf over and fastening it with silk strands. Shelters are also made by binding two adjoining leaves together to form a leaftier-like design. The larvae reside in a silken tube within the shelter, and a single shelter often houses two or more larvae. When local densities are high, there may be two or three folded areas on a single leaf. Individuals in the last seasonal brood overwinter as pupae in dried leaves or on the ground surface. In North Carolina, the adults first emerge in May and begin laying eggs shortly thereafter. First-instar larvae are whitish, but later instars become progressively darker and eventually develop bold black-and-white banding.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The Redbud Leaffolder is common throughout much of the eastern US and in adjoining areas of extreme southern Canada. In North Carolina, this species appears to be largely restricted to the Piedmont and lower to mid-elevations of the Blue Ridge where natural populations of Eastern Redbud occur. Natural populations of Eastern Redbud are uncommon in the Coastal Plain, and we do not have any records of the Redbud Leaffolder from these sites. This species is known to occur in the Coastal Plain on ornamental redbud plants, but we also have no official records for these to date.
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: Populations in the eastern US often have 2-3 overlapping broods per year. Populations in the Piedmont appear to have at least two broods per year, while records from the mountains are insufficient to determine brood patterns.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is strongly associated with Eastern Redbud, which reaches its greatest abundance in dry to moist forests and forest edges with circumneutral soils. Eastern Redbud is widely planted as an ornamental and is also common in sunny openings and along roadways.
Larval Host Plants: Fascista cercerisella is monophagous and occurs only where there are local populations of Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis).
Observation Methods: Adults are attracted to black lights and mercury vapor lights. The conspicuous folded leaves on Eastern Redbud are easy to spot, and identification can be further verified by checking the leaves for the boldly patterned larvae inside.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Dry-Mesic Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S4S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
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 Photo Gallery for Fascista cercerisella - Redbud Leaffolder Moth

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-28
Anson Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-15
Caldwell Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-15
Caldwell Co.
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Recorded by: JIm Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-13
Rutherford Co.
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Recorded by: JIm Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-13
Rutherford Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-09-12
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-09-01
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-08-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-08-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Becky Watkins on 2022-08-17
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2022-08-15
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-08-12
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-08-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-08-02
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbiish on 2022-07-11
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-06-20
Caswell Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-09
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L.M. Carlson, Becky Watkins on 2022-06-09
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-06-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-05-18
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-08-13
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-06
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-02
Wake Co.
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