Moths of North Carolina
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16 NC Records

Glaucolepis saccharella (Braun, 1912) - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Nepticuloidea Family: NepticulidaeSubfamily: NepticulinaeTribe: TrifurculiniP3 Number: 160102.00 MONA Number: 59.00 MONA Synonym: Trifurcula saccharella
Comments: Glaucolepis is a monotypic genus with one described species, Glaucolepis saccharella. The wing venation is distinctive, and the males have exceptionally broad hindwings that are about as wide as the forewings.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG; BugGuide; iNaturalistTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1917; van Nieukerken, 1986.Technical Description, Immature Stages: Braun, 1917.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description of the adults is based on Braun (1917) and Wilkinson and Scoble (1979). The palps extend beyond the labrum and are relatively long, whitish, and lustrous. The front of the head and vertex are brownish purple, and the tuft varies from brownish ocherous to entirely dark brown. The antenna extends to just under half the length of the forewing. It is brownish ocherous and broadly ringed with black to produced an overall purplish black appearance. The eye-cap varies from whitish to brownish purple, with a bluish or purplish luster. In many specimens the eye-cap tends to be whitish near the base and bluish or purplish towards the distal half. The thorax and basal fourth of the forewing are shiny, with a bright blue or purple metallic luster. The ground color of the remainder of the wing is purplish black to black. There is a rather broad shining silvery fascia just beyond the middle of the wing that broadens and curves towards the base as it approaches the dorsum. When viewed at some angles, this fascia shows pale blue reflections. The cilia is shining pale bluish, with a line of dark scales through the middle. The hindwing and cilia are gray to grayish brown, and often with a bluish luster. The male has an oval pale yellowish patch of androconia, and the hindwing is ovate and conspicuously broader than the hindwing of the female. The legs are gray with brownish patches and have a metallic iridescent. The abdomen is dark brown above with a faint bluish luster, and much paler beneath. Characters that help distinguished this species include the dark tuft and antenna, the rather dark eye-cup, the bright blue or purple metallic luster on the basal fourth of the forewing, and the broad shining silvery fascia that curves towards the base.

Wingspan: 4.2-4.4 mm for males; 4.0-4.8 mm for females (Wilkinson and Scoble, 1979)
Adult Structural Features: The following description of the genitalia is from Wilkinson and Scoble (1979). Males: The vinculum is ring-shaped and the ventral plate is not noticeably large. The tegumen extends into the pseuduncus, and the saccus is large and weakly bilobed. The gnathos comprising a pair of lateral arms which articulate with the lateral arms of the vinculum. These meet and fuse to form the inverted V-shaped medial process. The valves are more or less rectangular with a hook-like style that extends to the pseuduncus. The transtilla lacks a horizontal bar, but does have lateral arms. The aedeagus is broad and long. It has long, hooked, spine-like processes that extend nearly the entire length, and with a striate thickening. Females: The anal papillae are simple. The ductus bursae is very short and less than the length of the apophyses. The bursa copulatrix is long, with a pair of long signa comprising rows of characteristic pectinations. The anterior apophyses are broad basally, while the posterior apophyses are more narrow.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The pale green larva forms a long serpentine mine that gradually widens and can exceed 10 cm in length. The mine sometimes follows major veins for some or most of its length. The loosened epidermis is pale green initially, but often becomes light brown or brownish white in older mines. A black line of frass extends through the middle of the mine and gradually widens as the larva grows. At maturity, the larva exits the mine and spins a flat, smooth, oval-shaped cocoon that is ocherous colored (Braun, 1917; Eiseman, 2019).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Glaucolepis saccharella is found in southeastern Canada (Ontario to Nova Scotia) and the northeastern US. From there it ranges westward to Minnesota and Iowa, and southward to Tennessee, North Carolina, and northern Georgia (Eiseman, 2019). Our records are all from the western mountains.
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: In Ohio and vicinity, there are two or three broods (Braun, 1917). Active mines are first present in early July, then again in late August. A third brood is sometimes produced in October. Individuals appear to overwinter as pupae, with the adults emerging the following May or June. As of 2020, our earliest record is from early June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species appears to rely heavily on Sugar Maple in North Carolina, which is common on mesic sites with rich soils. Representative habitats include rich cove forests and northern hardwood forests.
Larval Host Plants: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is the primary host, but larvae are occasionally found on Red Maple (A. rubrum), and rarely on Florida Maple (A. floridanum; Eiseman, 2019). Prior to 2021, all of our records for North Carolina are associated with Sugar Maple. In 2021, however, mines were found on Florida Maple in an area of rich bottomland forest in Durham County.
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally are attracted to lights, but most records are for adults that were reared from mines on maples. We recommend searching for active mines on Sugar Maple during the summer months and rearing the adults.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S3
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 data on the distribution and abundance of this species within the state to assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Glaucolepis saccharella - No common name

Photos: 26

Recorded by: David George on 2022-09-05
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-08-29
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-25
Clay Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-25
Clay Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-08-22
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-08-04
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-24
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2022-06-27
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2022-06-27
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-11-18
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-11-18
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-11-18
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, John Petranka, Becky Elkin, Sally Gewalt on 2021-09-29
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, John Petranka, Becky Elkin, Sally Gewalt on 2021-09-29
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, John Petranka, Becky Elkin, and Steve Hall on 2021-09-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, John Petranka, Becky Elkin, and Steve Hall on 2021-09-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-09-06
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-09-06
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-01
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A backlit image of an unoccupied mine that was on an ornamental Sugar Maple in a parking lot in downtown Asheville.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-01
Buncombe Co.
Comment: Unoccupied mine was on an ornamental Sugar Maple in a parking lot in downtown Asheville.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-10-14
Madison Co.
Comment: A view of an elongated mine on the upper leaf surface of a Sugar Maple.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-10-14
Madison Co.
Comment: A backlit image of a mine; note the central frass region.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf on 2014-06-10
Mitchell Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf on 2014-06-10
Mitchell Co.
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