Moths of North Carolina
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Caloptilia Members:
17 NC Records

Caloptilia negundella (Chambers, 1876) - Boxelder Leafroller Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeTribe: [Gracillariini]P3 Number: 330137.00 MONA Number: 615.00
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes, 1923; Chambers, 1876aTechnical Description, Immature Stages: Braun (1912)                                                                                  
Adult Markings: The following is based primarily on descriptions in Forbes (1923) and Chambers (1876a). The head, thorax and ground color of the forewing are light tawny brown to golden brown. The face is pale below and the labial palp is dirty yellowish white, with the tip of the joints fuscous to dark brown. The antenna is brown and obscurely annulated with darker color. A patch or wash of yellowish or yellowish brown scales is usually present near the base of the wing before the costal patch. The costal patch is light yellow, has a wide triangular base, and becomes truncated and flat-topped before reaching the inner margin. The anterior edge of the patch contrast rather sharply with the darker ground color, while the posterior edge extends posteriorly as a narrow band along the costal margin towards the apex. On some individuals the band is fragmented into one or more blotches, and on many individuals a small black spot is present near the posterior end of the truncated portion of the costal patch. A series of fine blackish dots extend along the costal margin from the anterior section of the costal patch towards the apex. The fringe of unworn specimens has three blackish stripes. The femor and tibia of the front and middle legs are dark brown, while the tarsi are white with a dark band that is followed distally with fine dots at the joints. The hindleg is lighter and faintly dotted at the tarsal joints. This species closely resembles of summer form of C. ostryaeella and is most easily distinguished by the presence of a dark band on the upper tarsi of the front and middle legs. The band is missing on C. ostryaeella.
Wingspan: 13 mm (Forbes, 1923).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae mine the leaflets of Box-elder. The mine reportedly begins as a narrow linear mine on the underside. The larva eventually crosses to the upper leaflet surface, where it creates a rather large whitish blotch. It then exits the blotch mine and rolls the leaflet downward from the tip to create a cone (Eiseman, 2019). Mines on Boxelder from North Carolina that are presumably those of Caloptilia negundella produce an initial whitish linear mine that is epidermal, then switch to producing a full-depth blotch that is brownish. The initial linear portion can occur on either the upper or lower surface of a leaflet.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Caloptilia negundella is found primarily in eastern North America, but a disjunct is present in California and a few scattered populations are known from Albert, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. In the East, population occur in southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec) and from the northeastern states westward to Illinois, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. The range extends as far south as central Mississippi and northern Florida. Populations are poorly represented in the southeastern Coastal Plain where Box-elder is less common. As of 2020, all of our records are from the Piedmont and lower elevations in the 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
Immature 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: Adults have been recorded from May through September in different areas of the range, with a peak in seasonal activity from June through August. As of 2020, we have adult records from June and July, with one winter-active adult in December. We have a record of an occupied leaf roll in June, suggesting that breeding is well underway by early June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations are dependent on Box-elder. This species is common in alluvial forests and along streambanks in the mountains and Piedmont. It also can occasionally be found in upland sites with nutrient-rich soils. Box-elder is less common in the Coastal Plain where it is primarily found in brownwater alluvial forests.
Larval Host Plants: This species is monophagous on Box-elder (Acer negundo).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights, and the leaf blotch mines and rolled leaflets are easy to spot on Box-elder.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S3S4
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 information on the distribution and abundance of this species to assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Caloptilia negundella - Boxelder Leafroller Moth

Photos: 26

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-24
Montgomery Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-24
Montgomery Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-24
Montgomery Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-07-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-07-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-07-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-05
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2022-05-12
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2022-05-12
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2022-05-12
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, John Petranka, Becky Elkin, Sally Gewalt on 2021-09-29
Orange Co.
Comment: A view of the underside of a Boxelder leaflet with two unoccupied mines.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-29
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-29
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-09-04
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A rolled Boxelder leaf that had a cocoon near the edge of the roll (see companion photo).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-09-04
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A rolled Boxelder leaf; the light area is where the larva window-fed on the leaf tissue within the roll.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-09-04
Buncombe Co.
Comment: This leaf was unrolled to reveal a cocoon (see companion photo of the rolled leaf).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-08-31
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A partially completed, unoccupied mine on Box Elder.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-08-04
Madison Co.
Comment: An unoccupied leaf mine on the upper surface of Box Elder.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-08-04
Madison Co.
Comment: An unoccupied leaf mine on Box Elder.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-08-04
Madison Co.
Comment: An unoccupied leaf mine on Box Elder.
Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2020-07-18
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2020-07-18
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-08
Madison Co.
Comment: An unoccupied leaf mine on the upper surface of Box Elder.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-08
Madison Co.
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