Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 7 NC Records

Caloptilia triadicae Davis, 2013 - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeP3 Number: 330165.00 MONA Number: 644.10
Comments: This species was only recently described by Davis et al. (2013).
Species Status: Caloptilia triadicae is an introduced species that specializes on the Chinese Tallow-tree (Triadica sebifera). It also rarely uses a second species, Gymnanthes lucida, that is restricted to southern Florida. Triadica sebifera is native to southeastern China, Taiwan, and northern Vietnam, and has become an invasive plant in many areas of the Southeast since it was introduced in 1772. Caloptilia triadicae was first documented in the Southeast in 2004 on herbarium specimens from Louisiana and Alabama (Davis et al., 2013) and is now known from many areas of the southeastern US. Tracy Feldman first recorded this species in North Carolina in 2016 based on leaf mines and curled leaves in Wake Co., and Mark Shields recently photographed an adult in Onslow Co.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuideTechnical Description, Adults: (Davis et al., 2013)Technical Description, Immature Stages: (Davis et al., 2013)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This species has distinctive markings that readily distinguish it from our native Caloptilia. The forewing has two slightly oblique whitish stripes that begin near the costa and a third oblique stripe that begins near the hind margin. These sharply contrast with the overall brown to dark-brown ground color.
Adult Structural Features: The male valva has a short spine present from lower apical margin of the cucullus. In addition, a large, curved spine occurs from the ventral angle of the male cucullus that does not occur in any other American species.
Immatures and Development: Females may lay eggs on either leaf surface, and prefer young, tender leaves. They often select a site adjacent to a major vein or at the junction of two veins (Davis et al., 2013). The early sap-feeding stages tends to form a meandering mine, but will follow the margin of a vein or the leaf margin if these are encountered. The mine often has two or three slightly enlarged chambers at two or three locations along its course. Larvae eventually leave the mines and construct coiled, rosette-shaped leaf shelters where they feed externally on the leaf tissues (Davis et al., 2013). Larvae pupate within the leaf rolls.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This species os now widely distributed throughout the southeastern US where populations of the host species occur. As of 2020, we have four records for the state from both the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain.
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: Populations in the southernmost populations tend to be active year-round, with little evidence of a winter dormant period ((Davis et al., 2013). The species is multivoltine and populations tend to increase locally as the growing season progresses.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is monophagous on Chinese Tallow-tree, which is an introduced species that has a tendency to become invasive. This species is often seen in moist to wet habitats that are sunny to partly shaded. Representative habitats include the margins of ponds, lakes, and marshes, and along roadsides, the edges of agricultural fields, forests, and canals.
Larval Host Plants: In North Carolina, Caloptilia triadicae only feeds on the Chinese Tallow-tree (Triadica sebifera).
Observation Methods: Adults are attracted to UV-lights, and the leaf mines and rolled leaves are conspicuous on Triadica sebifera.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [SNA]
State Protection:
Comments: We have no conservation concerns about this species since it is introduced and restricts its feeding on a host plant that is also introduced. Caloptilia triadicae may prove to be beneficial is helping to control Chinese Tallow-tree , which is invasive in many areas of the Southeast.

 Photo Gallery for Caloptilia triadicae - No common name

Photos: 12

Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2021-09-04
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2021-09-04
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-08-27
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-10
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-10-16
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-10-16
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: J. B. Sullivan on 2020-08-09
Jones Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-12-16
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-12-16
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-10-06
Wake Co.
Comment: Abandoned mines on Chinese Tallow-tree (Triadica sebifera).
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-10-06
Wake Co.
Comment: Abandoned mines on Chinese Tallow-tree (Triadica sebifera).
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-10-06
Wake Co.
Comment: Abandoned curled leaf tips on Chinese Tallow-tree (Triadica sebifera).