Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFBucculatricidae Members:
Bucculatrix Members:
5 NC Records

Bucculatrix montana Braun, 1920 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: BucculatricidaeSubfamily: [Bucculatriginae]Tribe: [Bucculatrigini]P3 Number: 330003.00 MONA Number: 486.00
Comments: Bucculatrix is a large genus of small leaf-mining moths, with around 300 species worldwide. A total of 103 Nearctic species have been described, and many others will likely be described in the future. Braun (1963) covered 99 species in her monograph, and four additional Nearctic species have been described since then.
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Braun (1949, p. 41)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a small white moth (large for the genus) with ocherous, tan, or sometimes dark brown streaks. The following description is based on Braun (1963). The head is white, with a few fuscous hairs in the whitish tuft. The antenna stalk is pale fuscous. The thorax and ground color of the forewing is white. The forewing is marked with ocherous, is more or less fuscous dusted, and sometimes has dark fuscous streaks. A longitudinal streak usually is present, running from the base of the wing along the midline to the cell. In darker specimens it may join the apices of the three costal streaks. There are three equally spaced, posteriorly oblique, fuscous costal streaks. The first begins just before the middle of the costa and bends towards the middle of the wing to join the end of the second costal streak. The second streak runs into some fuscous dusting on the termen that is connected to the third streak, which may appear more as a fuscous blotch. Just beyond the the middle of the inner margin, there is a curved fuscous streak that bends back along the fold and often joins the ends of the first and second costal streak. From the termen just before the apex, there is a distinctive streak of blackish fuscous scales that extends to the tip of the apical cilia. The cilia are whitish, except just below the apical fuscous line. A fine line of scattered dark-tipped scales in the terminal cilia meets the fuscous apical line at a very acute angle at about half its length. The hindwing is pale fuscous, and darker in the males, especially in dark-marked specimens. The legs are pale ocherous, and the hind tarsal segments are tipped with fuscous, except in the palest specimens. Braun (1963) notes that the most distinguishing character of B. montana is the blackish streak extending in a line with the longitudinal axis of the wing from near the apex of the wing to the tip of the apical cilia. Many Bucculatrix are best identified by genitalia and we consider our records for B. montana based on images as being provisional. Bucculatrix solidaginiella is very similar, but the angle between the blackish streak and the line of blackish scales on the cilia is more acute.
Wingspan: 10.5-13 mm (Braun, 1963)
Adult Structural Features: The male and female genitalia, along with associated scale tufts and patches, are distinctive and are described and illustrated by Braun (1963). The following are her verbatim descriptions. Males: harpes small, swollen at base, tapering to narrow cucullus bearing short blunt conical setae; socii short setose, variable in length, somewhat enlarged distally and arising well before tip of tegumen; aedeagus long, tapering to the slender apex. Scale sac large. Females: ostium narrowly sclerotized anteriorly, produced posteriorly; signum a broad ring, somewhat narrower dorsally, near posterior end of bursa and slightly constricting it; ribs regularly or irregularly spined, spines short.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is undocumented (Braun, 1963).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Bucculatrix montana is primarily found in the northeastern US and adjoining areas of Canada, with scattered records farther south and west. Braun (1963) has records for Nova Scotia, Ontario, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, and Georgia. MPG and BugGuide have additional state records from Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota and Tennessee. As of 2022, we have a few scattered records from throughout the state.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Adults fly in June, July, and August in areas outside of North Carolina.
Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants: The hosts appear to be undocumented. Beadle and Leckie (2012) state that Sweet Gale (Myrica gale) is used, but we are unaware of the source for this statement. Sweet Gale is an extreme disjunct in the Southern Appalachians and is currently known from just one site in North Carolina (Weakley, 2015) that does not correspond to our moth records. - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is poorly known in general, without any information on its host plants or habitats. It appears to be scarce in the Southeast, and we have just a few records as of 2022. Far more needs to be known about its distribution, host plants, and habitat associations before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Bucculatrix montana - No common name

Photos: 6

Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-06-05
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-06-02
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-31
Onslow Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger, P. Scharf on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger, P. Scharf on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger, P. Scharf on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.