Moths of North Carolina
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6 NC Records

Pseudexentera haracana (Kearfott, 1907) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: OlethreutinaeTribe: EucosminiP3 Number: 621155.00 MONA Number: 3252.00
Comments: The genus Pseudexentera currently has 19 recognized species that are found primarily in North and Central America, with 17 recognized species in the US. They are typically found in forested settings and most fly very early in the year. Many are challenging to identify, particularly the species with fasciate forewing patterns that often show substantial intraspecific variation in patterning and have slight differences in genitalia (Miller, 1968; Gilligan et al., 2008). There has been a long history of misidentified species in the group (Miller, 1968) and there is still much confusion about external traits that are useful in sorting out certain closely related forms. DNA barcoding has not proven to be particularly useful in sorting out species since recognized species often have two or more BINS that contain multiple species names. This likely reflects weak genetic differentiation between certain forms and the large numbers of misidentified specimens in collections. Miller (1968) conducted a taxonomic revision and reviewed all of the recognized species in North America, but did not provide detailed descriptions of external coloration, patterning, or intraspecific variation within species. Here, we treat our assignment of the fasciate specimens to species as provisional since they are based on images or pinned specimens that have not been barcoded or dissected to examine genitalia. Even with the latter, specimens cannot always be confidently assigned to species.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLD                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The head, palps, antenna, and thorax vary from medium brown to blackish-brown. The forewing has a light brown ground color that is overlain with a dark basal patch that covers a third or more of the forewing. The patch tends to be darkest on the dorsal half and is outwardly angled near the middle. A smaller dark dorsal patch is also usually evident before the tornus at around two-thirds that extends nearly to the middle of the wing where it may sometimes join or nearly join the dark line that extends from the apex (see below). Both the large, dark basal patch and the smaller post-median dark patch are usually bordered outwardly with a narrow white line of scales.

The most distinctive mark is a dark and somewhat wavy line that begins at the apex and angles gradually away from the costa to the middle of the wing where is often joins an oblique dark line that extends from the costa inward. When joined, the overall effects is a line that angles to the center then curves abruptly towards the costa. The costa has a series of whitish streaks (striae) that are interspersed with dark ones, while the sub-costal area tends to have tan to fuscous-olive shading that is lighter than the remainder of the wing. The hindwing is light brown and the tarsi have dark-brown to blackish bands.

Pseudexentera haracana superficially resembles Gretchena delicatana, but the latter has a light, angulating band on the dorsal margin and a basal patch that is elongated and often connected to, or nearly connected to, a dark line that extends from the apex to the center of the wing.
Forewing Length: 6.0-8.5 mm for males and 6.0-8.0 mm for females (Miller, 1986).
Adult Structural Features: Miller (1986) noted that forewing veins R4 and R5 are usually (82%) connate or approximate at the origin, but sometimes (18%) stalked or separate. Miller (1986) and Gilligan et al. (2008) have descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. In males, the valva is constricted at three-fifths the distance between the base and the apex, the valvaI length/cucullus length ratio is 2.3 to 2.7, the anal spine is near the lower edge of the cucullus, the lower edge of the cucullus has up to four inconspicuous projections ranging in shape from bumps to spinelets, and the aedeagus has a thick snout-like apex (Miller, 1986). In females, the ostium bursae begins one-tenth to one-fifth its width behind the front edge of sternum, the forward end of the sterigma tapers gradually if at all, the corpus bursae spicule bases are fused on one side near the ductus bursae into a lightly sclerotized patch, and the signa are unequal in size.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae bind the leaves of oaks, but detailed information on the larval life history has not been reported.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Pseudexentera haracana is found in eastern North America. Individuals have been documented from Maine and adjoining areas of southern Canada (Nova Scotia; Quebec; Ontario) southward to as far as Florida in the east and eastern Texas in the west. The range extends westward through the Great Lakes region to Minnesota, and to Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. Miller (1986) identified adults from Nova Scotia, Connecticut, Michigan, Wisconsin , Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi and Florida. As of 2022 we have a small number of records from the coast and one site record each from from the lower mountains and eastern Piedmont.
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: Local populations are univoltine, with the adults flying early in the year during the spring warm-up. Miller (1986) reported capture dates that ranged from 26 February to 15 June in different areas of the range. The seasonal peak in activity is typically in March and April. As of 2022, our limited records extend from late February through early April.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations are found in hardwood or mixed hardwood forests with chestnuts and oaks. They also occur in residential neighborhoods where the host plants are present.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae feed on members of the Fagaceae, including chestnuts (Castanea spp.) and oaks (Miller, 1986; Brown et al., 2008). The specific species of oaks that are used are poorly documented and additional information concerning host use are needed. - View
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally visit light during March and April.
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S3S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be uncommon in North Carolina, but we currently do not have sufficient data on habitat requirements, host use, and abundance to accurately assess its conservation status within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Pseudexentera haracana - No common name

Photos: 7

Recorded by: Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik, David George on 2024-03-31
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik, David George on 2024-03-31
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-07
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-07
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-05
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-05
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2011-02-21
Wake Co.