Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNepticulidae Members: 4 NC Records

Ectoedemia virgulae (Braun, 1927) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Family: NepticulidaeP3 Number: 160091.00 MONA Number: 46.00
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Braun (1927a); Wilkinson and Newton (1981)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Braun (1927a)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based on that of Braun (1927a) and Wilkinson and Newton (1981). The tuft is brownish ocherous to orange ocherous and faintly tinged with red between the yellowish white eye-caps. The vertex is slightly paler. The antennal stalk is dark brownish fuscous. Thorax and forewing are dark brown to almost black, and there is a faint purple tinge on the thorax and base of the forewing. At the middle of the wing there is a brilliant silvery, fascia. It is markedly concave inwardly and usually broadest on the dorsum. The cilia are whitish and the marginal line of scales is sharply defined around the apex. The hindwing is gray and the cilia darker. The male has a narrow yellowish chitinous plate on the upper side of the costa of the hindwing from the base to near the middle. The underside of body and legs are dark silvery gray. This species is very close to E. rubifoliella and E. nyssaefoliella, but is separated by both by the presence of a chitinous plate on the basal half of costa on the hindwing of the male. All species are best identified using genitalia, or by a combination of from leaf mine characteristics, larval coloration, and host species.
Wingspan: 3.8-5.0 mm for males; 4.0-5.8 mm for females (Wilkinson and Newton, 1981)
Adult Structural Features: Wilkinson and Newton (1981) have descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. They note that the genitalia are similar to those of E. platanella, except that the valves are markedly concave along inner margin distally, and the setae of the dorsal surface are terminally digitate, with a long basal shaft. The aedeagus is markedly shorter than the capsule and the anellus comprises a pair of bifurcate plates. The female genitalia is also similar to that of E. platanella except that the sclerotised double ring has the inner margin markedly serrate, and the lobe of the ductus has large triple spines. The signa is small in relation to the bursa copulatrix.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: Braun (1927a) described the mines on American Hazelnut in Ohio as being long and gradually broadening to a width of 1.5-2.0 mm at the end. The frass was either in a broad track or more or less scattered within the mine. The larva was green and the cocoon reddish brown, and the mine was considerably wider than the larva. In contrast to Braun's observations, Erik van Nieukerken reared E. virgulae from mines on hickory in Connecticut and found the mines to be variable. They often formed a distinct blotch. The early portion was highly contorted and was sometimes obliterated by the blotch. In thinner leaves the linear portion was distinct, but in thicker leaves it was hardly visible. Although specimens found on Carya were initially considered to be a different species, genitalia and DNA proved them to be conspecific with Ectoedemia virgulae (Doorenweerd et al., 2015). The few mines that we have observed in North Carolina on hickories were small blotch mines that increased in width with time and had green larvae. In contrast, the mine of E. trinotata on hickories have a distinct linear portion and greenish-gray larvae.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Ectoedemia virgulae is found in eastern North America, but the range is poorly defined due to the scarcity of verifiable records. Specimens have been documented in Ontario, Quebec, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, Florida, and Texas (Braun, 1927a; Wilkinson and Newton, 1981; Eiseman, 2019). As of 2021, we have a single record based on an occupied mine from Scotland Co.
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: Adults have been found from April through September, and some populations appear to be bivoltine.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats:
Larval Host Plants: The larvae feed on members of the Betulaceae and Juglandaceae. The known hosts include American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) and hickories (Carya spp.). Tracy Feldman recent discovered mines in North Carolina on Mockernut Hickory (Carya tomentosa) and possibly Sand Hickory (C. pallida).
Observation Methods: The adults appear to only rarely visit lights. We encourage naturalists to search for the mines on the host plants and take detailed information on the mine characteristics, color of the larva, and host plant.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: This species was only recently discovered in North Carolina. We currently do not have sufficient information on its distribution and abundance to assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Ectoedemia virgulae - No common name

Photos: 11

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-10-14
McDowell Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-10-14
McDowell Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-24
Buncombe Co.
Comment: An occupied mine on Carya ovalis.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-24
Buncombe Co.
Comment: An occupied mine on Carya ovalis.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-24
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A backlit image of an occupied mine on Carya ovalis. Note the greenish larva.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-24
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A backlit image of an occupied mine on Carya ovalis. Note the greenish larva.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-24
Henderson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-24
Henderson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-24
Henderson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-24
Henderson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-09-15
Scotland Co.
Comment: Yellowish-brown blotch mines were on Carya tomentosa (I believe it is also on C. pallida), with a greenish caterpillar inside.