Moths of North Carolina
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13 NC Records

Framinghamia helvalis (Walker, 1859) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Pyraloidea Family: CrambidaeSubfamily: PyraustinaeTribe: SpilomeliniP3 Number: 801173.00 MONA Number: 5262.00
Comments: Framinghamia is a monotypic, North American genus named after its type locality, Framingham, Massachussets (Wikipedia, accessed 2022-08-01).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Munroe (1951)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The ground color of this species varies from bright lemon yellow to dull tan or light reddish-brown and has dark brown to reddish-brown marks. The orbicular spot is prominent and consists of a thick, dark, circular mark that is pale in the middle rather than being a solid point. In addition, the discocellular bar is composed of a double curved line rather than a single lunule. The costa is shaded darker than the general ground color, and the antemedial line is excurved and often rather obscure. The postmedial line has a stepped pattern where it initially projects inward from, and perpendicular to, the inner margin, then angles outward at approximately 90 degrees to run parallel to the inner margin before angling again to run parallel to the outer margin to form an outward bulge with three teeth. The final section has three reduced teeth and runs from the bulge to the costa where it connects nearly perpendicular to the costa. The hindwing is paler than the forewing and lacks the antemedial line. A faint discocellular spot is usually evident, and a postmedial line is present that is similar to that on the forewing, with well-formed teeth on the bulge. The fringe of both wings is concolorous with the adjoining ground color, and there is a narrow dark terminal line on both wings.

Framinghamia helvalis is often confused with Anania extricalis, but the latter has an obscure orbicular spot, a lunate discocellular bar that is composed of a single bar, and a more rounded bulge in the postmedial line that typically has five rather than three outwardly projecting teeth.
Wingspan: 15-20 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult Structural Features: Munroe (1951) has descriptions and illustrations of the male genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: The larvae feed on willows and poplar leaves and create shelters by either folding or rolling leaves, or by binding two or more overlapping leaves together with silk. Eiseman (2023) recently provided many more details about the life history and the following account is base mostly on his observations of larvae feeding on Quaking Aspen and other hosts. The earliest instars spin frass tubes that extend from the midrib of the leaf and skeletonized the surrounding leaf tissues. They soon abandon the tubes and window feed beneath and around a translucent sheet of silk that extended along the lateral vein from the frass tube to the leaf margin. The laying down of additional silk causes the leaf to curl and fold on itself. With time the developing larvae stop window-feeding and consume portions of the entire leaf. The later-instar larvae may also bind several leaves together to make a shelter for feeding and pupation. Larvae in the final seasonal brood overwinter in a structure that is made by binding leaves or fragments of leaves together. The larvae overwinter on the ground in their shelters, with pupation and the emergence of adults occurring the following late spring or summer.

The late instars have a translucent bluish-green body that is unmarked. The head is mostly black with a rather complex pattern of white streaks and finer cross-connections, while the prothoracic shield is translucent bluish-green with a black line on the distal end that extends a short ways around the sides (Allyson, 1984; BugGuide).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Framinghamia helvalis is found in eastern and central North America, including portions of southern Canada (Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia) and much of the eastern and south-central U.S. from Maine southward through southern Florida, and westward to Texas, southeastern New Mexico, eastern Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. As of 2023, we have scattered 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) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: The adults have been observed from March through October in different areas of the range, with the peak flight typically from June through August. As of 2023, our records extend from late-April through mid-August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Most of our records are from wet to mesic hardwood forests, but also from semiwooded residential neighborhoods.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae specialize on willows and poplars, which are members of the Salicaceae (Forbes, 1923; Allyson, 1984; Godfrey et al., 1987; Prentice, 1966; Robinson et al., 2010; Eiseman, 2023 and BugGuide). The reported hosts include Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides), Bigtooth Aspen (P. grandidentata), Lombardy Poplar (P. nigra), Quaking Aspen (P. tremuloides) and willows (Salix spp.), including Prairie Willow (S. humilis var. tristis), the introduced Purple-osier Willow (S. purpurea) and Black Willow (S. nigra; BugGuide). Eiseman (2023) reported this species using Black Willow in North Carolina. - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. We need more information on host use in North Carolina.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Poplar Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is uncommon in North Carolina. More information is needed on its preferred habitats, host plants, and distribution and abundance before we can accurately assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Framinghamia helvalis - No common name

Photos: 7

Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-29
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-25
Greene Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-07-18
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-07-17
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2022-06-05
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-30
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2018-05-30
Cabarrus Co.
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