Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFTortricidae Members:
Proteoteras Members:
133 NC Records

Proteoteras aesculana Riley, 1881 - Maple Twig Borer Moth



view caption

view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: OlethreutinaeTribe: EucosminiP3 Number: 621133.00 MONA Number: 3230.00
Species Status: This species can be a significant pest in nurseries where is kills the shoots of seedlings and young saplings.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1923)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: In this species the head, thorax, palps and ground color of the forewing tend to be dull olive green with various shades of gray and yellowish-brown. Small blackish markings and dusting usually overlay the general ground color. The most prominent feature is a dark grayish to blackish band that curves inward from the middle of the costa and extends rearward to a point that is just dorsal to the anal angle. The margins of the band are irregular and the band typically breaks up well before before reaching the outer margin. The costa often has a dark blotch at around one-fourth and a series of alternating dark and light spots along most of the length. As in other members of this genus, both the thorax and forewing have conspicuous tufts that give them a lumpy appearance. The hindwing is gray and the males have a yellow hair pencil that is bordered by blackish sex scales on the upper side of the costa of the hindwing (Seagraves et al. 2008). The green color in this species is not as bright as in P. moffatiana, which also possess blackish marbling at the base of the wing. The band running from the costa is not as black and contrasting as in P. crescentana.
Wingspan: 15-20 mm (Grehan et al., 1995)
Adult Structural Features: Wong et al. (1983) provide illustrations of the male genitalia and female sternite 7. The male has a subcostal hair pencil on the dorsal surface of the hindwing. It is surrounded with white scaling, which in turn is edged with black scaling (Gilligan et al., 2008).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The whitish larvae are shoot borers that feed on maples and buckeyes. The adults lay eggs near the tips of shoots during the spring and the larvae bore into the young stems where they pass through five instars. Frass is expelled from a hole in the side of the stem near the leaf petiole axils and is mixed with silk. Boring causes the entire shoot tip to wilt. Larvae that were studied by Seagraves et al. (2008) at a Kentucky nursery vacated the shoots by late May or early June, about two months after the eggs were laid. The last instar presumably pupates in leaf litter or other cover on the ground surface. This species typically begin boring into stems during or shortly after the spring leaf-out and infested trees characteristically have flagged branch tips and bore holes near the petiole axils.

Soloman (1995) reported that the larvae hollow out dormant buds and seeds in the fall and continue to feed on dormant buds in the spring. These may reflect larvae in populations where a second brood is produced. Seagraves et al. (2008) found a peak in adults in late March or early April in Kentucky, with an apparent second flight occurring from early or mid-June through July. However, they found no evidence of egg-laying or shoot infestations during the summer months, which implies that single-brooded populations feed on shoot tips and not buds and seeds.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Proteoteras aesculana is broadly distributed across much of eastern North America from southern Canada southward to the Gulf States and westward to the limits of the Eastern Deciduous Forest in eastern Texas, Eastern Oklahoma, Nebraska, and North Dakota. It also occurs along the West Coast from California northward to British Columbia. This species occurs in all three physiological provinces in North Carolina, but is relatively uncommon in the Coastal Plain.
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: The main flight season occurs in the spring in association with the leaf-out of maples and buckeyes, but adults can be found throughout much of the growing season which suggests that some populations may have two or more broods (Grehan et al., 1995; Powell, 1962). Seagraves et al. (2008) found a peak in late March or early April in Kentucky nurseries, with an apparent second smaller flight that occurred from early or mid-June through July. These likely were from individuals that emerged from the first brood. They found no evidence of egg-laying or shoot infestations during the summer months, which suggests that this species produces a single brood at their study site. Seagraves et al. (2008) surmised that the adults may overwinter given the very early emergence of males in March, but more study is needed to confirm this. We have records for almost every month of the year, with Piedmont populations reaching their seasonal peak in March and April.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Proteoteras aesculana is strongly associated with deciduous or mixed-deciduous forests, as well as urban areas where maples are planted as ornamentals.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae feed on both maples and buckeyes, although maples are the primary hosts (Riley, 1881; Forbes, 1923; Heinrich, 1923; Craighead et al., 1950; Powell, 1962b; Prentice, 1966; Wong et al., 1983; Miller, 1987; Grehan et al., 1995, Heppner, 2007; Brown et al., 2008; Lam et al., 2011. This species commonly uses Red Maple (Acer rubrum) but will use other species including Bigleaf Maple (A. macrophyllum), Box-elder (A. negundo), Norway Maple (A. platanoides), Silver Maple (A. saccharinum), and Sugar Maple (A. saccharum). Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is also used. As of 2023, we have records of it using both Red Maple and Striped Maple (A. spicatum) in North Carolina, where flagged shoots with wilted leaves can be observed during and shortly after the spring leaf-out. - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights and the larvae can be found in wilted shoots of maples and possibly buckeyes following the spring leaf-out.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Maple 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.
Comments: This species is relatively common in North Carolina and shows no evidence of marked declines in populations.

 Photo Gallery for Proteoteras aesculana - Maple Twig Borer Moth

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

Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-29
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-04-13
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-01
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-04-01
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2024-03-30
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2024-03-30
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2024-03-16
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2024-03-04
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2024-02-26
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-09-04
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2023-08-25
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka, David George on 2023-08-05
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Chuck Smith on 2023-07-27
Davidson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-07-26
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-07-19
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2023-07-18
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2023-07-17
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka on 2023-07-17
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka, David George on 2023-07-07
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2023-04-11
Cabarrus Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George on 2023-04-04
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2023-04-04
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2023-03-24
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka on 2023-03-23
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka on 2023-02-28
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka on 2023-02-28
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2023-02-21
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2023-02-21
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Richard Teper, Lior Carlson on 2022-10-15
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Richard Teper, Lior Carlson on 2022-10-15
Orange Co.
Comment: