Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members:
Caloptilia Members:
63 NC Records

Caloptilia rhoifoliella (Chambers, 1876) - Sumac Leafblotch Miner Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeTribe: [Gracillariini]P3 Number: 330152.00 MONA Number: 630.00
Comments: Caloptilia is a large genus with nearly 300 described species; 64 species have been described in North America north of Mexico. The larvae begin as leaf-mining sap-feeders, but the latter instars usually exit the mine and feed within a conical roll that begins at the leaf apex or at the tip of a leaf lobe.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Leckie and Beadle, 2018.Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: (Chambers, 1876)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Chambers, 1876; Eiseman, 2019.                                                                                  
Adult Markings: In this species, the upper head, thorax and forewings are light to dark brown, and often have a yellowish tinge. The area near the costa is often lighter than the ground color above, and in many specimens is whitish with darker dusting or fine mottling. A series of dark brown dots or small rectangular blotches usually occurs along the costa, and sometimes more dorsally along the fold. The triangular patch that is found in many Caloptilia is absent, and the face and palpi are white. The apex of each joint of each palp is brown. The femur and tibia of the front and middle leg are brown above, while the tarsi are whitish with faint brown marks near the joints. The rear legs are light colored with varying amounts of fuscous dusting. This species superficially resembles C. sassafrasella, but the face and palps are white, compared with the dark face and palps of C. sassafrasella. Caloptilia sassafrasella also has two conspicuous dark costal spots -- one midway and one just before the apex -- that are lacking in C. rhoifoliella.
Wingspan: 13 mm (Chambers, 1876)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae initially produce a linear mine on either surface of the leaf. It widens with time into a tentiform blotch that is sometimes disconnected from the linear portion. Later instar larvae abandon the blotch and roll a leaf or leaflet downward to produce a rather clumsily constructed feeding shelter (Chambers, 1876; Eiseman, 2019).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Caloptilia rhoifoliella is widely distributed and common across the eastern US and adjoining areas of extreme southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec). Populations in the eastern US occur from Maine to southern Florida, and westward to central Texas, central Oklahoma, Missouri, eastern Nebraska and Minnesota. This species occurs essentially statewide in North Carolina, although as of 2023 it appears to be largely absent from the northern Coastal Plain and higher elevations in the mountains.
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 during every month of the year in different areas of the range, but typically first become active following the spring leaf-out. Observations from the eastern US indicate that many populations produce more than one brood per year, with a seasonal peak in abundance in July and August. As of 2023, specimens in North Carolina have been observed from late February through early November, with local populations appearing to produce two or three broods per year.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The host plants include our native sumacs, which are typically found in open, dry woods or disturbed sites such as clearings, old fields, and roadsides. The larvae also feed on Poison Ivy and Poison Oak, which are found in a variety of disturbed sites, as well as a wide range of other habitats such as dry to mesic forests.
Larval Host Plants: C. rhoifoliella specializes on members of the Anacardiaceae (Forbes, 1923; Godfrey et al., 1987; Heppner, 2007; Robinson et al., 2010; Beadle and Leckie, 2018; Eiseman, 2022). The known hosts including Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica), Winged Sumac (R. copallinum), Smooth Sumac (R. glabra), Staghorn Sumac (R. typhina), Atlantic Poison-oak (Toxicodendron pubescens) and Poison-ivy (T. radicans). - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to UV lights, and the larvae can be documented by searching for leaf mines and shelters on the host species.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Sumac Thickets and Poison Ivy Tangles
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S3S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
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 Photo Gallery for Caloptilia rhoifoliella - Sumac Leafblotch Miner Moth

74 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2024-05-14
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2024-05-13
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-04-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-01
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-01
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-08-18
Caswell Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2023-08-03
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-07-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2023-07-22
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2023-07-22
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2023-07-01
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2023-05-31
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-04-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-03-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-03-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-03-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2023-03-05
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-13
Rutherford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-13
Rutherford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2022-08-28
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-07-11
Wake Co.
Comment: Rolled leaflets on Winged Sumac.
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-07-11
Wake Co.
Comment: early mines on Winged Sumac.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-25
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-05-15
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-03-23
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-03-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-03-20
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-03-06
Durham Co.
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