Moths of North Carolina
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Caloptilia Members:
1 NC Records

Caloptilia cornusella (Ely, 1915) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeTribe: [Gracillariini]P3 Number: 330122.00 MONA Number: 600.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Ely, 2015.Technical Description, Immature Stages: Ely, 2015; Eiseman, 2019.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This species has a dark purple ground color on the forewings, thorax, and upper head. The forewings have two golden patches on the costal margin. The larger one extends from the basal fourth to nearly the middle of the costa, while the second is widely separated from the first and very small. The face is pale lemon yellow and the labial palps are yellowish white and annulate with black just before the apex. The antennae are brown with yellowish annulations at the joints. The cilia are dark gray, with two distinct black lines extending around the apex and well into the dorsal cilia. The tibia and femur of the front and middle leg are dark purple, while the tarsi are white with fine dark markings near the tarsal joints. The hind leg is yellowish with brown shading. This species resembles C. bimaculatella, but has a dark purple ground color, widely separated costal patches, a posterior costal patch that is very reduced in size, and a yellow face (white in C. bimaculatella).

Wingspan: 10 mm (Ely, 1915)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae initially construct short, winding mines on the undersides of leaves. These eventually become elongated blotches about 1.3 cm or so long, and are usually constructed between two veins. After leaving the mine the larva rolls the leaf downward, from one side, into a cylindrical roll. The cocoon is boat-shaped and is made within the roll, near the first fold in the leaf (Ely, 1915). Braun (1927a) reported that on bunchberry the leaves are often rolled diagonally, or even almost from the tip; these rolls may be somewhat cornucopia-shaped rather than perfectly cylindrical (Eiseman, 2019).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: C. cornusella is most common in southern Canada and in an area that extends from the Great Lakes region to the Northeast. Isolated populations occur southward to Kentucky and North Carolina. Our single record for North Carolina is very likely a disjunct population.
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 the Northeast, leaf rolls appear on Red-osier Dogwood in mid-July and adults emerge by early August (Eiseman, 2019). We have only a single record for North Carolina from May.
Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants: This species specializes on dogwoods (Cornus spp.). Documented hosts in eastern North America include Alternate-leaf Dogwood (C. alternifolia), Bunchberry (C. canadensis), Northern Swamp Dogwood (C. racemosa), and Redosier Dogwood (C. sericea ssp. sericea).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to UV lights and larvae can be collected by searching for the rolled leaftips on native dogwoods.
See also Habitat Account for General Dogwood Thickets and Understories
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S1S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Our single record for North Carolina is very likely a disjunct population of this more northernly distributed species.

 Photo Gallery for Caloptilia cornusella - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, L. Amos on 2015-05-12
Warren Co.