Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNepticulidae Members: 10 NC Records

Ectoedemia clemensella (Chambers, 1873) - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Nepticuloidea Family: NepticulidaeP3 Number: 160090.00 MONA Number: 44.00
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 genitalic 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: Braun, 1917; Wilkinson and Scoble, 1979. Technical Description, Immature Stages: Braun, 1917; Wilkinson and Scoble, 1979.                                                                                  
Adult Markings: The following description is based on Braun (1917) and Wilkinson and Scoble (1979). The palps are whitish and lustrous, and the tuft is light brownish yellow. The eye-caps are silvery white and contrast with the buff to pale ochreous antenna. The collar is pale ochreous, and the thorax and abdomen are purplish black with silvery reflections. The forewing is bluish black with bronze and purple reflections. There is a narrow oblique whitish streak on the middle of the costa (rarely inconspicuous) and an opposite whitish dorsal streak. These usually meet in the middle to form a narrow oblique fascia. The cilia are silvery with a brown line formed by the dark tips of the terminal row of scales around the apex. The hindwing is yellowish fuscous, while the legs are gray with pale ochreous patches. The anal tuft is yellow in the male. 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 the lance-shaped hindwing scale (chitinous plate), 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.
Wingspan: 4.4-4.8 mm for males and 4.4-4.6 mm for females (Wilkinson and Scoble, 1979).
Adult Structural Features: Wilkinson and Scoble (1979) provide descriptions and illustrations of the genitalia. The following is based on their descriptions. Males: The tegumen is produced into a tapering, tuberculate pseuduncus. The saccus is bilobed, with each lobe pointed. The gnathos has a truncated medial member. The valves are broad, do not reach the tip of the pseuduncus, and have hair-like scales arising from the inner aspects, with each divided into three prongs. The transtilla has a horizontal wide bar. The aedeagus is long, narrow, and widens slightly at the base, with a rasp-like, arcuate structure on the vesica. The anellus is a deeply divided plate, with each division with a tubercle posteriorly. Females: The ductus bursae is approximately twice as long as the apophyses. The colliculum is ring-shaped with an associated denticulate pocket. The bursa copulatrix has a pair of elongate signa. The anterior apophyses are arcuate and broad basally, while the posterior apophyses are more narrow. Wilkinson and Scoble (1979) noted that E. clemensella differs from E. platanella in having a more strongly bilobed saccus, shorter and broader valves, and much more weakly developed hair-like scales arising from them. The female genitalia are very similar to those of E. platanella.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: The larvae mine the leaves of sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). A pale green larva initially forms a linear mine that gradually increases in breadth, with its terminal portion expanded into a small blotch three or four times the diameter of the end of the linear mine. The linear portion has a central frass line, which is absent in most of the blotch (Braun, 1917; Eiseman, 2019). The cocoon is light brownish yellow. Braun (2017) noted that the mines of this species are much less common than those of E. platanella.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Ectoedemia clemensella is found in Ontario, Canada and throughout much of the eastern US where sycamores occur locally. Populations occur from Indiana and Ohio eastward to Maine, and southward to Florida. As of 2020, we have records from all three physiographic provinces.
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: Braun (1917) reported that there are three broods per year.
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 reduce the leaf-litter layer and allows seedlings to become established.
Larval Host Plants: The only known host is American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis).
Observation Methods: The adults appear to rarely visit lights and most records are based on individuals that were reared from sycamores. The mines of E. clemensella and E. platanella can sometimes be found together on the same tree, and can be readily distinguished from one another (Braun, 1917; Wilkinson and Scoble, 1979). The mine of E. clemensella is a long and relatively straight linear track which gradually broadens into a small blotch that is three or four times the diameter of the end of the linear track. The linear track of E. platanella is usually shorter and more sinuous, and enlarges into a large blotch that is often 10-20 times greater than the diameter of the end of the linear track.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
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 clemensella - No Common Name

Photos: 13

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 2021-06-23
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-06-16
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-06-13
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-09-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka Petranka on 2020-08-07
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A backlit image of two unoccupied mines on American Sycamore (see companion photo).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka Petranka on 2020-08-07
Buncombe Co.
Comment: An image of two unoccupied mines on the upper surface of American Sycamore (see companion photo).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-06
Madison Co.
Comment: An unoccupied mine on American Sycamore.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-06
Madison Co.
Comment: A backlit image of an unoccupied mine on American Sycamore. Note how the mine gradually widens into a blotch.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-06-25
Wake Co.
Comment: 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.