Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFGracillariidae Members:
Caloptilia Members:
4 NC Records

Caloptilia belfragella (Chambers, 1875) - No Common Name

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeP3 Number: 330115.00 MONA Number: 594.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Chambers (1875a)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Eiseman, 2019                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based in part on the original description by Chambers (1875a). The head is purplish brown except for the white face. The labial palp is white, with a dark dot on the tip of the second segment. The third segment is often tipped with brown. The antenna, thorax and ground color of the forewing are all purplish brown. The costal 'triangle' is very pale lemon yellow and becomes truncate or rounded before terminating at the fold. The yellow mark extends posteriorly as a rather wide band along the costal margin to the cilia, and often has a series of small dark spots present along the costal edge. The fringe is light grayish brown to purplish brown with one or two darker lines usually evident along the outer half. The anterior and middle legs are purplish brown and the tarsi are white with little evidence of spotting on the tarsal joints. The hindleg is whitish, except for the purplish brown apical half of the femur.
Wingspan: 11 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae mine dogwood leaves. Each larva begins by making a linear, winding mine that abruptly enlarges into a whitish blotch. The blotch eventually becomes wrinkled and resembles a Phyllonorycter mine (Braun, 1912; Eiseman, 2019). Upon exiting the mine, the larva typically rolls the leaf laterally and forms a cylindrical roll that incorporates most or all of the leaf. A smaller precentage of larvae roll the leaf from the tip to produce a transverse cone. According to Braun (1912), larvae pupate within the roll in the first case, but in a fold of the leaf in the second.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Caloptilia belfragella is found in eastern North America, including southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec) and much of the eastern US. In the US, the range extends from Maine southward to northern Florida and westward to Texas, Oklahoma,Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Populations are very spotty along much of the Atlantic Seaboard from New York to Florida. As of 20201, we have only two site records from the Coastal Plain.
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)

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Flight Comments: Adults have been found from March through September in areas outside on North Carolina. As of 2021, our two records are from 10 March and 9 September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Both the hosts and habitats are poorly documented. The larvae depend on dogwoods, but our native species include species that inhabit habitats ranging from alluvial floodplains and wetland fringes to more mesic conditions. As of 2021, our two records are from a coastal scrub and dune site and an annually burned seepage area.
Larval Host Plants: The only known host is Rough-leaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii). Records of this species feeding on Sumac (Rhus) and a blueberry (Vaccinium) are thought to be erroneous (Eiseman, 2019). Other dogwood species are presumably used since the range of C. belfragella extends far beyond the range of (Cornus drummondii). - View
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally visit lights, and the rolled leaves are easy to spot on native dogwoods.
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.