Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFTortricidae Members: 31 NC Records

Argyrotaenia pinatubana (Kearfott, 1905) - Pine Tube Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: TortricinaeTribe: ArchipiniP3 Number: 620261.00 MONA Number: 3602.00
Comments: The genus Argyrotaenia contains approximately 100 described species, with most occurring in Nearctic and Neotropical regions. Thirty-six species are currently recognized in North America.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1923); Freeman (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Freeman (1960)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based on that of Forbes (1923) and Freeman (1960). The head and thorax are ocherous, and the dorsal tuft orangish. The forewing has three broad brownish orange to dark reddish-ocherous bands that are separated by whitish to light ocherous fascias. The first band is a large basal patch whose posterior margin extends from the dorsal margin to the costa. It fills the basal third of the wing, and is followed by a relatively narrow light fascia. The second is a broad, oblique band that begins at about one-half on the costa and extends posteriorly to the dorsal margin. It is followed by a relatively narrow, complete whitish fascia. The last band is in the subterminal area and extends from the costa to the dorsal margin. It contains the outer costal patch that is usually fused with an outer oval spot to form a complete band. The band is followed by a terminal whitish fascia that narrows towards the inner margin. The hindwing is smoky and becomes paler basallv. The fringe is paler with a darker basal line. The abdomen is gray, blackish, or mouse-colored, with ocherous apical tufting that is more noticeable on the male. Many Argyrotaenia species have very similar genitalia and can be difficult to distinguish from each other. In this species the basal patch typically fills the entire region between the dorsal margin and costa. In addition, both the posterior edge of the basal patch and the anterior edge of the median band tend to be more straight-edged relative to some closely related forms (i.e., A. tabulana). This species uses Eastern White Pine as a host and is restricted to where the host is found locally.
Wingspan: 13-15 mm for males; 14-18 mm for females (Freeman, 1960).
Adult Structural Features: Freeman (1960) noted that the genitalia are indistinguishable from those of A. tabulana.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larva feeds on the needles of Eastern White Pine. It makes a distinctive tubular shelter by binding 5–20 needles into a bundle. It then mines the needles from near the base toward the tip. Several needles are mined, and the frass is ejected from the mine (Freeman, 1960; Eiseman, 2019). Additional holes are often cut closer to the tip. These are greatly elongated as the larva matures, which gives the needles a canoe-like appearance. Each larva constructs several tubular bundles, and the last usually does not contain mined needles. The final bundle is lined with silk, and the larva then sequentially feeds on the needles by cutting them just above the silk lining and pulling them into the shelter. Pupation occurs within the shelter. Local populations are bivoltine, with the first generation in early summer.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Argyrotaenia pinatubana is found in eastern North America from southern Canada (Manitoba eastward to Nova Scotia) and the New England states southward through the Appalachian region to eastern Tennessee and northwestern South Carolina. The range extends westward in the US to Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Populations in North Carolina are largely restricted to the Piedmont foothills and Blue Ridge Mountains.
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: The adults have been observed from March through November in areas outside of North Carolina, with seasonal peaks in April-May and again in July. Populations in North Carolina appear to be double-brooded, with the first brood in March and April, and the second in June and July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is dependent on Eastern White Pine, which grows in a variety of mesic to somewhat drier forest communities. It is common in the Piedmont foothills and in the mountains at lower to mid-elevations, but becomes more spotty to the East.
Larval Host Plants: Argyrotaenia pinatubana has been reported to use a variety of conifers in Canada (Robinson et al., 2010), including firs (Abies spp.), spruces (Picea spp.) and pines (Pinus spp.). In the eastern US it appears to rely entirely on Eastern White Pine (P. strobus) as its host.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights, and the tubular shelters are easy to spot on pine branchlets.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for White Pine Forests
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: Populations appear to be secure within the state due to the abundance and widespread occurrence of Eastern White Pine in the western mountains and foothills.

 Photo Gallery for Argyrotaenia pinatubana - Pine Tube Moth

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

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-04-07
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petrankanim Petranka on 2021-03-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-03-11
Polk Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-03-11
Polk Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-03-09
Transylvania Co.
Comment: A feeding tube with cut needles on White Pine.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-03-09
Transylvania Co.
Comment: A feeding tube with cut needles on White Pine.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-03-09
Transylvania Co.
Comment: A tube that was opened to show the silk chamber inside.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-02-10
Madison Co.
Comment: A bundle of White Pine needles that were webbed together to form a tube; a silken unoccupied tube was inside.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-02-10
Madison Co.
Comment: A view of the entrance hole of the tube-like shelter.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-07
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: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2019-06-30
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-04-10
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-04-10
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-04-19
Madison Co.
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