Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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View PDFHeliozelidae Members:
Aspilanta Members:
3 NC Records

Aspilanta argentifera (Braun, 1927) - No Common Name

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Family: HeliozelidaeP3 Number: 210084.00 MONA Number: 242.00
Comments: The genus Antispila has traditionally been a catch-all genus for a large group of similarly patterned species with a fascia before the middle of the forewing and a pair of opposing spots. Nieukerken and Eiseman (2020) placed a cluster of six species that have reduced wing venation in a separate genus, Aspilanta. Antispila species in North America never have an apical spot, while Aspilanta species do, with the exception of A. viticordifoliella.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLD                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Externally separable from A. oinophylla and ampelopsifoliella by the darker brassy head scaling, the grey fringe and the indistinct fringe line; A. argentifera is also smaller. Relatively similar to A. voraginella which is only known from the Southwestern states. Male genitalia with tegumen distinctly bilobed, valvae with 9–12 pecten sensilla, phallus without strong appendices (only one slide examined). Mines on Morella distinguished from those of an unnamed Coptodisca species, which occurs especially in the Southeast, by the larger cut-out, and the overall larger mine.
Wingspan: 4.0–5.2 mm
Forewing Length: 1.8–2.4 mm
Immatures and Development: Egg in the examined mines inserted at the midrib. The mine starts with a linear portion, following the midrib towards the apex, sometimes difficult to see when it is very close to the midrib (Fig. 94); later becoming a small blotch extending from midrib to leaf margin. Frass blackish, varying from dispersed to concentrated near origin of mine; in linear portion a wide line in middle. Mines on Comptonia are usually very compact, on Morella and Myrica more elongate; on Myrica gale we observed several mines crossing the midrib, resulting in a wilting leaf tip that may drop off (Fig. 90). The larva cuts out an elliptic case ca. 2.5–3.5 mm long.
Larva. Pale yellowish green, head and prothorax brown.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Canada: Newfoundland*, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island*, Quebec*; USA: Connecticut*, Massachusetts*, New York*, North Carolina*, Vermont.
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)

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Immature Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

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Flight Comments: Bivoltine. Larvae found in July and September to November, adults in June, July and August; specimens reared from fall mines emerged (indoors) in April to May, from July mines in August. Mines of the first generation seem to be very scarce.
Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants: Myricaceae: Comptonia peregrina, Morella caroliniensis (including M. pensylvanica, cf. Wilbur (2002)), M. cerifera, Myrica gale.
See also Habitat Account for Myricaceous Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR] SU
State Protection: