Moths of North Carolina
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5 NC Records

Choreutis pariana (Clerck, 1759) - Apple Leaf Skeletonizer Moth

Superfamily: Choreutoidea Family: ChoreutidaeSubfamily: ChoreutinaeTribe: [Choreutini]P3 Number: 580027.00 MONA Number: 2650.00
Comments: The genus Choreutis contains 33 described species that are mostly found in Eurasia and southeast Asia.
Species Status: This is an introduced species from eastern Eurasia that was first recorded in New England in 1917 (Covell 1984). It can be a significant pest in apple orchards and nurseries where it defoliates branches.
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Dombroskie (2003)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based on the description by Dombroskie (2003). The forewing is a pale smeared brown, and often heavily dusted with a broad band of lighter scales in the PM region. The inner half and terminal area are usually darker brown. The AM line is dark brown and jagged. The PM line is less obvious than the AM line, paler brown, and jagged. Other lines are occasionally evident depending on the specimen, but these are never as obvious as the AM line. There are four small whitish rectangles that are more or less visible along the costa. These occur at the AM line, the median, the PM line, and just before the apex. The fringe is brown, with two thin pale patches along the outer edge on either side of the middle. The hindwing is warm brown and slightly darker towards the outer margin. The fringe is brown, and paler at the anal angle and apex. The body is dark brown. Specimens are variable and sometimes have a grayish ground color. The amount of whitish dusting in the PM area and the degree of development of the bold markings also varies among individuals. The adults are active during the day and are often seen nectaring on composites or other flowers.
Wingspan: 11-12 mm
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The females overwinter and lay small bunches of eggs on the undersides of leaves the following spring. The hatchlings initially feed on the underside of the leaves, then move to the top surface where they often tie the sides of a leaf together to create leaf rolls ( Two or more caterpillars often share a rolled leaf and skeletonize the leaf from within. After 3 to 4 weeks of growth, the larvae pupate in the rolled leaf. The adult emerges about two weeks after a larva pupates. There are at least two generations per year in the Pacific Northwest ( The mature larvae are light greenish yellow and boldly marked with black spots on the thoracic plates and abdomen. Each abdominal segment has a pair of dorsal spots and a single lateral spot.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Choreutis pariana was introduced into New England from eastern Eurasia sometime shortly before 1917. It has since spread across North America. Populations are most prevalent in the northeastern US and adjoining area of southern Canada, then westward to the Great Lakes region. The range extends southward to Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. This species is also well-established in California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. It was first recorded in North Carolina in 2013, and is now well established in the western mountains.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: The adults overwinter and become active with the spring leaf-out. There are two or more broods per year depending on the location. US records from outside of North Carolina extend from May through November. As of 2020, our records are from mid-July through early October.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species primarily uses members of the Rosaceae as hosts. It is often found in apple orchards and nurseries that grow hawthorns, cherries, and other ornamentals. Populations appear to be well established in more natural settings where they likely use native hawthorns and cherries.
Larval Host Plants: This is a somewhat polyphagous species that prefers members of the Rosaceae, but also uses birches and willows. The known hosts include commercial apples (Malus), crabapples (Crataegus spp.), cherries (Prunus spp.), hawthorns (Crataegus spp.), American Mountain-ash (Sorbus americana), birches (Betula spp.), and willows (Salix spp.). - View
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNA SNA
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This is an exotic species that does not merit protection.

 Photo Gallery for Choreutis pariana - Apple Leaf Skeletonizer Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan on 2018-10-03
Ashe Co.