Moths of North Carolina
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Caloptilia Members:
46 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, BAMONATechnical 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: C. rhoifoliella is widely distributed and common across the eastern US and adjoining areas of extreme southern Canada. Populations occur as far south as Florida and as far west as Texas and Oklahoma. This species is presumed to occur statewide based on our records for NCMO, as well as several additional records on iNaturalist and BAMONA.
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: Adults are active following the spring leaf-out. Observations from the eastern US suggest that this species may be bivoltine, with a peak in adults occurring in July and August, and a secondary peak in October. Specimens in North Carolina have been observed from early April through August (iNaturalist; BAMONA).
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 species of Sumac (Rhus) and Poison Ivy and Poison Oak (Toxicodendron). The known hosts including Fragrant Sumac (R. aromatica), Winged Sumac (R. copallinum), Smooth Sumac (R. glabra), Staghorn Sumac (R. typhina), Poison Oak (T. pubescens) and Poison Ivy (T. radicans).
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

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

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: Simpson Eason on 2022-03-06
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-03-01
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-17
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-17
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-17
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-30
Bladen Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2021-03-11
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-02-24
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-02-24
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-07-23
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-07-16
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-07-16
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-07-03
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-05-25
Mecklenburg Co.
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