Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFGracillariidae Members: 25 NC Records

Caloptilia violacella (Clemens, 1860) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeTribe: [Gracillariini]P3 Number: 330168.00 MONA Number: 644.00
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 mines and feed within a conical roll that begins at the leaf apex or at the tip of a leaf lobe.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONA, iNaturalistTechnical Description, Immature Stages: Eiseman, 2019                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The ground color of the head, upper thorax, antenna, and forewing is light bronze brown to pale violet brown. The face is pale yellowish and the labial palps are yellowish white with brown tips. An extensive area of yellowish wash occur from the base of the forewing to near the apex on the costal half. A series of fine spots are usually evident along the costal margin. There is a conspicuous dark blotch slightly beyond the middle of the wing and near the boundary of the yellow wash and darker ground color. A second, smaller spot is sometimes evident about mid-way between the first spot and the termen. The femur and tibia of the front and middle leg are dark brown and contrast sharply with the white tarsi below. Faint to well-developed dark spots are usually evident at the tarsal joints. The rear leg has a yellowish wash that matches the wash on the forewings.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larva initially makes a short, narrow, linear mine on the underside of the leaf that eventually widens into a small tentiform mine (Eiseman, 2019). After feeding for a while, it abandons the tentiform mine and rolls a leaf downward from the tip to form a protective feeding structure. The final instar pupates over the midrib under a dense, semitransparent, white web on the upper side of the leaf (Eiseman, 2019).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Caloptilia violacella is broadly distributed in eastern North America, with populations ranging from southern Canada and the Great Lakes Region southward to southern Florida and eastern and central Texas. Except for the highest elevations in the mountains, it is found statewide wherever appropriate host plants occur.
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: The adults have been collected from different areas of the range from February through November, with peak activity during the summer months. As of 2020, we have records from March through mid-October, with a peak in seasonal activity from June through September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species uses a variety of herbaceous legumes as hosts. Many of the host species prefer sunny to partially shaded habitats in disturbed or early successional habitats, but some can tolerate more shaded situations. Representative habitats include roadsides, abandoned fields, fencerows, powerline corridors, and residential neigborhoods, along with open woods, woodland paths, and forest clearings.
Larval Host Plants: Caloptilia violacella specializes on members of the Phaseoleae clade of legumes. Species of Desmodium appear to be the primary hosts, including D. paniculatum, D. perplexum, and D. rotundifolium (Eiseman, 2019). Species of Glycine, and Lespedeza are also used, including Lespedeza cuneatum in North Carolina.
Observation Methods: Adults are attracted to UV lights. Searching for the tentiform mines on host plants is an effective way to document new locality records.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S4S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is found statewide and populations appear to be secure.

 Photo Gallery for Caloptilia violacella - No common name

Photos: 22

Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-08-24
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-13
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-11
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2020-06-26
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn on 2020-05-13
Moore Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-09-30
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-16
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-16
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-16
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-08-01
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn on 2018-07-25
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-19
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-29
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2017-10-06
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn on 2017-09-27
Stokes Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2015-07-31
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2015-07-25
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams on 2014-09-12
Gates Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2014-08-28
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2014-08-22
Warren Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2014-08-22
Warren Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2011-03-12
Wake Co.
Comment: