Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFTortricidae Members: 69 NC Records

Argyrotaenia tabulana Freeman, 1944 - Jack Pine Tube Moth



view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: TortricinaeTribe: ArchipiniP3 Number: 620262.00 MONA Number: 3603.00
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.
Species Status: This wide-ranging species is geographically variable. According to Obraztsov (1961), specimens from North Carolina and Florida belong to a form in which the forewing markings are browner, and mixed occasionally with black. The specimens from North Carolina show, in addition, a tendency to develop an elongate, black, longitudinal spot crossing the median fascia of the forewings on the level of the discal cell.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Freeman (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Freeman (1960); Maier (2004)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based in part on that of Freeman (1960). The head, labial palp, and thorax are light brown to reddish-orange. The forewing patterning and coloration are variable, and the following description summarizes the general trends. The forewing ground color varies from pale buff to light pink, purplish brown, or orange. It is overlaid with darker reddish-brown lines and bands. The basal patch varies from reddish-brown to light pinkish purple and typically has two darker reddish-brown, angulated lines. These can vary in size and shape, are often fragmented, and may even fork. A dark, oblique median band is present that is typically lighter in the middle. The middle portion often has a light purplish to pinkish-purple cast, and is bordered on both edges with darker, irregular, reddish-brown coloration. Both the posterior margin of the basal patch, and the anterior and posterior margins of the central band, are finely lined with white. A large costal spot is present beyond the median band that is reddish-brown, with darker inner and outer edges. A matching elongated spot is found towards the tornus. These are often connected to form a band. Beyond the costal spot, there are one or two short, dark, reddish-brown lines that extend inward from the costa. The forewing fringe is light reddish brown, and the hindwing is smoky and becomes lighter towards the base. The hindwing fringe is light with a dark basal line, and becoming tawny towards the apex. This species is somewhat similar to A. pinatubana, but the latter is more drab overall and lacks reddish-brown bands that are lined with darker borders. 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 those of A. tabulana.
Wingspan: 13-17 mm (Freeman, 1960)
Adult Structural Features: Obraztsov (1961) noted that the genitalia of A. tabulana and A. velutinana are indistinguishable.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae in populations in the US feed on pine needles. Freeman (1960) studied Canadian populations and reported that the larva first mines from the tip of a needle almost to the base. Later it ties two or more needles together into a bundle or tube, lining the interior with silk. It feeds within the bundle, and eventually incorporates additional needles or makes a new bundle from the current growth. In late summer or early fall it drops to the ground and pupates in a flimsy cocoon in the leaf litter. Maier (2004) studied New England populations and noted that the older larva lives in a silk tube within groups of pine needles that are bound together to form a tube-like shelter. The larva chews off the exposed portions of the needles and feeds on these, which creates a characteristic tube that is shorter than the surrounding undamaged needles. The mature larva may be as long as 15 mm and has a dull greenish body and orange-brown lobes on the head. In New England there are two generations per year, with the first in June and July and the second in September and October. The larvae from the second brood overwinter within the tubes. Population in North Carolina chew the ends of the tubes off as described by Maier (2004).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Argyrotaenia tabulana is found in North America, including much of southern Canada from British Columbia eastward to Nova Scotia. It occurs in Montana, Wyoming, and Washington (Freeman, 1960), and throughout much of the eastern US. In the eastern US the range extends from Maine southward to Florida and westward to eastern Texas, eastern Oklahoma, Illinois, and Michigan. This species occurs statewide in North Carolina.
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 to observed from January through October in areas outside of North Carolina, with the first brood occurring in March and April. Populations in Canada appear to be single brooded, while those farther south have two or more broods per year. As of 2021, we have records from early February through mid-October. Local populations in North Carolina appear to have two or three broods per year.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species depends on yellow pines for successful reproduction and can be found in pine or mixed pine-hardwood stands.
Larval Host Plants: Jack Pine Tube Moth has been reported to use a variety of conifers in Canada (Robinson et al., 2010), including firs (Abies spp.), a larch (Larix sp.), spruces (Picea spp.), pines (Pinus spp.), Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). In the eastern US it appears to feed only on yellow pines, including Loblolly Pine (Obraztsov, 1961). In North Carolina, the only known host as of 2021 is Loblolly Pine (P. taeda). Other species of yellow pine are presumably used in the mountains where Loblolly Pine does not occur.
Observation Methods: The adults come to lights and the pine tubes with larvae can be found on pines.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Pine Forests and Woodlands
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 secure within the state where it is widespread and uses pines as hosts.

 Photo Gallery for Argyrotaenia tabulana - Jack Pine Tube Moth

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-09-19
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-09-14
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-19
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-18
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-28
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-07
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-06
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-03-25
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-24
Harnett Co.
Comment: Feeding tube under construction on Loblolly Pine. Note white silk at tube opening.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-23
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-23
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-20
Wake Co.
Comment: The chewed end of an empty silk-lined feeding tube constructed with needles from four different fascicles on Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda).
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-20
Wake Co.
Comment: The chewed end of an empty silk-lined feeding tube constructed with needles from four different fascicles on Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda).
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-20
Wake Co.
Comment: A view of the silk-lined feeding tube inside of a tube that was constructed of pine needles that were webbed together.
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-14
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-14
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-12
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-11
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-11
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-02-16
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-02-16
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-02-09
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-05
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-05
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-05
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-14
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-29
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-15
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-09
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-02
Guilford Co.
Comment: