Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFTortricidae Members: 29 NC Records

Eucopina tocullionana Heinrich, 1920 - White Pinecone Borer Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: OlethreutinaeTribe: EucosminiP3 Number: 621061.00 MONA Number: 3074.00 MONA Synonym: Eucosma tocullionana
Species Status: Eucopina is a genus of tortricid moths with 12 North American species that were previously placed in the genus Eucosma (Gilligan and Wright, 2013). Members of this genus feed on conifers (Pinaceae), and the majority feed on the maturing cones of pines. E. tocullionana occurs from the mid-western US, southern Ontario, and Quebec, southward to western North Carolina and adjoining areas of Tennessee and northern Georgia. Its southernmost range appears to be determined by the distribution of Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus), which is the primary host plant (de Groot, 1998).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012) under Eucosma tocullionana.Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Technical Description, Immature Stages: de Groot, P. 1998.                                                                                  
Adult Markings: The pale orange fascia in the median area is edged with silver. Also note the pale orange scales on the dorsum of the head.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The only comprehensive life history study is by de Groot (1998), who studied a population in Ontario, Canada. Males in this population are active from late May to the first week of July, shortly before or during the time when male pine cones are releasing pollen. The first eggs appear in mid-June. Females lay their eggs under the upturned cone scales of second-year pine cones. After hatching, the larvae burrow into the cones where they feed on the internal tissues. After completing the fifth instar, the larvae vacate the cones and pupate on the ground. Larvae in this population are present in female cones from mid-June to the end of August, and about 40% die after being trapped in resin.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: In North Carolina, Pinus strobus is largely restricted to the Blue Ridge and upper Piedmont, although scattered populations are known farther to the east. All of our records for E. tocullionana are within the general range of P. strobus.
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
Flight Comments: Adults in North Carolina have mostly been collected in late April through mid-May, during or shortly after pollen is shed. We have one record in July. This species is univoltine (de Groot, 1998).
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Eastern White Pine tolerates a wide range of site conditions and can be found in both mesic and dry forest communities. It is most frequent at low to mid-elevations in the mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Although Eastern White Pine (P. strobus) is the primary host species, specimens have been collected outside of North Carolina from spruces (Picea spp.), Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea), Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Virginia Pine (P. virginiana). The use of these secondary hosts is questionable and might reflect misidentified specimens (de Groot, 1998).
Observation Methods: Adults are active shortly after dark and come to lights.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S3S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Eastern White Pine reaches its southern limits in northern Georgia and populations of E. tocullionana in western North Carolina are near the southern limit of this species' range. The status of North Carolina populations is uncertain -- we have relatively few records for what should be a common species, at least based on its host plants. However, it appears to be fairly widely distributed in our Mountains and also present in the western Piedmont, indicating that it is unlikely to be limited by habitat.

 Photo Gallery for Eucopina tocullionana - White Pinecone Borer Moth

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: jim Petranka on 2021-05-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-04-27
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-04-27
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-04-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-04-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-07-07
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-07-07
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-05
Madison Co.
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