Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNepticulidae Members: 13 NC Records

Ectoedemia platanella (Clemens, 1861) - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Nepticuloidea Family: NepticulidaeSubfamily: NepticulinaeTribe: TrifurculiniP3 Number: 160078.00 MONA Number: 43.00
Comments: Wilkinson and Newton (1981) divided the North American Ectoedemia into four species groups based primarily on genitalic differences. The platanella group consists of four species (E. clemensella; E. platanella; Ectoedemia similella; E. virgulae) that have similar traits, such as the presence of multi-branched setae on the inner sides of the valves.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Wilkinson and Newton (1981)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Braun, 1917; Eiseman, 2019.                                                                                  
Adult Markings: The following description is based on Braun (1917) and Wilkinson and Newton (1981). The palps are buff. The eye-cap is shining white and the antenna is dark brown. The tuft on the front of the head is pale ochreous and the vertex darker. The collar is pale ochreous, and the thorax and abdomen are dark grayish brown. The ground color of the forewings is dark brown with a bronze luster. The fringe is whitish, with an apical band of dark brown wing-scales. At the middle of the costal margin there is a small oblique silvery streak, along with an opposing streak on the dorsal margin. The dorsal streak is usually larger than the costal streak and broader on the margin. In rare instances, both spots can be very minute. Occasionally, the two streaks meet to form a more or less interrupted concave fascia. The last row of scales at the apex are pale yellowish at their bases, thus forming a dark line in the cilia. The ground color and fringe of the hindwing are pale gray, and a lance-shaped chitinous plate extends along the fore edge to the middle of the costa. The legs are buff, with areas of dark brown. Ectoedemia platanella and E. clemensella both mine the leaves of Platanus occidentalis, and can be distinguished using several characters (Wilkinson and Newton, 1981). Ectoedemia platanella is almost always larger and browner than E. clemensella, and the males have a lance-shaped hindwing scale, which is absent in E. clemensella. The linear portion of the leaf mine is longer in E. clemensella, and it enlarges into a blotch more gradual than in E. platanella. The male genitalia differ in the nature of the saccus, which is markedly bilobed in E. clemensella, and the scales of the valves, which are shorter and less furcate in E. clemensella. The female genitalia differ from those of E. similella and E. virgulae by the spines of the accessory sac, which are large and single in E. platanella.
Wingspan: 4.0-6.8 mm for males and 3.6-6.8 mm for females (Wilkinson and Newton, 1981)
Adult Structural Features: The following description of the genitalia is from Wilkinson and Newton (1981). Males: The pseuduncus has a single tapering lobe, and the gnathos is W-shaped. The transverse ventral plate has a broad central boss and the dorso-lateral arms are long. Both the lateral arms of the vinculum and the ventral plate are narrow. The saccus is more than twice the width of the ventral plate and weakly bilobed. The valves do not reach beyond the pseyduncus and taper slightly, with the terminally digitate setae on the dorsal surface distally. The transtillae have short, narrow lateral arms. The ventral arms reach beyond the ventral plate, while the transverse bars fuse to form a continuous narrow strap. The aedeagus is about the same length as the capsule and regular in width. The vesica have cornuti that appear as many small, evenly distributed, denticles and with a comma-shaped plate of minute papillae. The anellus is comprised of two pairs of simple spines. Females: The ductus bursae is long, and the colliculum occurs as a sclerotized double ring with a serrate inner margin. There is an associated lobe that bears scattered spicules. The accessory duct arises from the area of dilation of the ductus, and is spiral distally. The bursa copulatrix is very large and covered with small scallop-shaped chains of pectinations on striations of the bursa. The signum is double, and comprises a pair of long reticulate patches that are equal in area. The anterior apophyses are long and broad. The posterior apophyses are straight and narrow, and equal in length to the anterior apophyses.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Females lay their eggs on the lower leaf surface, and sometimes near a vein. The pale green larva initially produces a slender, contorted linear track that is usually filled with frass. Several days before pupation, the mine abruptly enlarges into a large rounded blotch that often obliterates the linear portion of the mine (Braun, 1917; Eiseman, 2019). The mature larva emerges from a slit in the leaf and then spins a brown cocoon. Braun (1917) noted that the mines are often abundant on the leaves of American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Ectoedemia platanella is found in Ontario, Canada and across much of the eastern US where sycamores occur locally. Populations occur as far south as Alabama and Florida. As of 2020, we have records from the low mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain. This species is presumed to be rare in much of the eastern Coastal Plain where American Sycamore is uncommon or rare.
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: Braun (1917) noted that there are three broods per year, with the first during June. As of 2020, we have records of mines in North Carolina that occur as early as mid-May, and records of occupied mines through late July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations are found in association with the American Sycamore. Sycamores are common along stream banks and in other wet habitats, particularly where scouring or soil disturbance reduces the leaf-litter layer and allows seedlings to become established.
Larval Host Plants: The only known host is American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis).
Observation Methods: Almost all locality records are based on leaf mines, which are rather conspicuous on sycamore leaves. Photographic records of adults are needed, and we encourages participants to rear and photograph the adults.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet Hardwood 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: We currently do not have sufficient information on the distribution and abundance of this species in North Carolina to assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Ectoedemia platanella - No common name

Photos: 19

Recorded by: Jim Petranka, John Petranka, Becky Elkin, Sally Gewalt on 2021-09-29
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-06-30
Mitchell Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-06-12
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-06-08
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-06-08
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-06-08
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-31
Buncombe Co.
Comment: An unoccupied mine on sycamore.
Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-08-31
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-08-31
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-25
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A backlit leaf of an American Sycamore with a larva.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-25
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-07-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-07-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-06-25
Wake Co.
Comment: These was an unoccupied mine on Platanus occidentalis.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2017-09-11
Durham Co.
Comment: These were unoccupied mines on Platanus occidentalis.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2017-07-18
Scotland Co.
Comment: These were unoccupied mines on Platanus occidentalis.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2017-07-18
Scotland Co.
Comment: These were unoccupied mines on Platanus occidentalis.
Recorded by: FKW on 2007-07-13
Gates Co.
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