Moths of North Carolina
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66 NC Records

Ecdytolopha insiticiana Zeller, 1875 - Locust Twig Borer Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: OlethreutinaeTribe: GrapholitiniP3 Number: 621387.00 MONA Number: 3497.00
Species Status: Ecdytolopha insiticiana is a native species that can be a significant pest in plant nurseries. Boring by the larvae can disfigure stems and in some cases stunt plant growth.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG; BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Soloman (1995)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Soloman (1995)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The adults can be easily identified by the rather distinctive patterning on the forewing. Dark brown to grayish brown coloration covers the forewing from the base to about mid-way on the dorsal margin. From there, it slants posteriorly towards the costal margin and adjoins a pronounced pale dirty white to pinkish whitish region that covers much of the remainder of the forewing. The whitish region has a small black patch near its middle that is centered along the dorsal edge. Smaller fine black specks and spots may extend from the black patch towards the costa. Just beyond four-fifths, a rather faint and slightly curved dark brown to blackish streak extends from above the costal margin to near the mid-point of the termen. The hindwings are uniformly gray. Ecdytolopha mana is similar, but lacks the black patch near the dorsal margin and specializes on hackberries (Celtis).
Wingspan: 17-26 mm (Soloman, 1995).
Adult Structural Features: Gilligan and Epstein (see TortAI website at http://idtools.org/id/leps/tortai/information.html) provide descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. The male genitalia are characterized by a rounded tegumen, long valvae, and deciduous cornuti in the vesica. The female genitalia have a deep invagination of sternum VII where the ostium is located, two signa in the corpus bursae, and a sclerotized patch near the junction of the corpus bursae and ductus bursae. Males can be separated from other Ecdytolopha species by a hair pencil in a narrow concavity on the anal margin of the hindwing. Females can be separated by genitalic characters.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The following is based on Soloman's (1995) detailed description of the life history. Females lay their eggs on the bark of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). Each hatchling bores a hole into a current-year stem with succulent growth. It then feeds on the stem pith and internal tissues to create an elongated gallery. The gallery is often > 10 cm in length, and most larvae bore towards the shoot tip. Boring typically triggers the plants to produce elongated, gall-like swellings that are readily evident during the winter months. The entrance hole almost always begins at a thorn base where the petiole attaches, and the larva periodically ejects frass from the hole. Each gallery usually contains only one larva, but in rare instances a gallery can contain up to 3-5 larvae. There are seven instars that vary from dull yellow in the early stages to bright crimson in the final instars. Development for the first seasonal brood takes around 20 days, and the mature larvae leave the shoots and pupate under leaf litter. Populations in the southern portion of the range typically have a second generation. The larvae in the second generation overwinter in the galleries, and the adults emerged during the spring warm-up.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Ecdytolopha insiticiana has been documented in Ontario and Manitoba, and occurs throughout much of the eastern US where the host plant occurs. It is generally either rare or absent in much of the Coastal Plain from Virginia southward. As of 2020, our records for North Carolina are all from the Blue Ridge and Piedmont.
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: As of 2020, we have records of adults that extend from late April through August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Ecdytolopha insiticiana is strongly affiliated with Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), which naturally occurs as a minor element in many hardwood forest communities in North Carolina. Black Locust is more common today along roadsides, in early successional forests, and in other sunny, disturbed habitats.
Larval Host Plants: Although the primary host is Black Locust, the larvae may possibly use other species of Robinia, and on rare occasions may use Wisteria spp. (Robinson et al., 2010).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. Infected plants can be easily identified by the presence of frass clumps near the bases of the petioles, and by the elongated, swollen stem segments.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Locust Groves and Thickets
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 appears to be common in the Blue Ridge and western Piedmont, but less so in the eastern Piedmont.

 Photo Gallery for Ecdytolopha insiticiana - Locust Twig Borer Moth

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-08-09
Watauga Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-09
Watauga Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-16
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-06-02
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2022-05-27
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2022-05-27
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-08-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-22
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Tony McBride and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-08
Swain Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-05-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-20
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-04
Madison Co.
Comment: A stem-boring larva that was removed from the stem of a Black Locust (see companion photos of the hole and larva inside the stem). .
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-04
Madison Co.
Comment: A view of a bore hole (frass removed) at the base of a petiole of a Black Locust (see companion photos of the frass and larva inside the stem). .
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-04
Madison Co.
Comment: A view of frass that was ejected from a bore hole at the base of a petiole of a Black Locust (see companion photos of the hole and larva inside the stem). .
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-02
Haywood Co.
Comment: A swollen stem from the previous year; note the entrance hole that is typically produced near the base of thorns on Black Locust.