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

Marmara fasciella (Chambers, 1875) - White Pine Barkminer Moth



view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeTribe: [Gracillariini]P3 Number: 330236.00 MONA Number: 708.00
Comments: The genus Marmara contains about 20 described species from North America and numerous undescribed species. Most species are monophagous, and the mines have been found on over 80 North American plant genera in 40 families (Eiseman et al., 2017). This suggests that there are dozens of undescribed species in the US.
Species Status: Marmara fasciella is a wide-ranging and genetically diverse species that may be part of a cryptic species complex based on the fact that BOLD specimens are assigned to four BINS.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Immature Stages: de Gryse, 1943; Eiseman, 2019                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is primarily based on the original description by Chambers (1875). The thorax, head and palps are silvery white, except for a small brown spot on the outer surface of the second joint of the labial palp. The antenna is fuscous and paler towards the base. The ground color of the forewing is yellowish brown to light brown with a series of broad white fascias or paired blotches that are all margined on the anterior edge with a thin line of dark brown. Two broad white fascias occur at about one-third and two-third the wing length. The second fascia is followed by a pair of dorsal and costal blotches, with the smaller dorsal blotch occurring at the base of the dorsal fringe. The paired blotches are followed by a relatively narrow white fascia before the apex. The fringe is silvery with a faint dark marginal line at the base. A small aggregate of dark scales is often evident anterior to the marginal line. The ground color of the legs is white with a series of dark brown blotches, bands and spotting that is heaviest on the upper portion of the leg and reduced to mostly spots or narrow bands on the lower half. The hind legs are less heavily marked than the other two.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: This species mines the bark and stems of Eastern White Pine and possibly other pines in the southern portion of the range. Females lay eggs on the bark and the larvae make long, linear, and somewhat sinuous mines in the trunks and branches. In Canada, de Gryse (1943) found that about one-half of the mine is constructed during late summer and fall. The larva then hibernates inside of the mine and resumes feeding early in the spring of the following year. The cocoon is spun in the end of the mine under a loosened flap of the bark and is not ornamented with globules as seen in some Marmara (Eiseman, 2019). The mines are usually completed between May 15 and June 15 in Canada. We have records of adults as early as May in North Carolina. The larvae are yellowish with a light brown head and thoracic shield. They are noticeably flattened with two wing-like projections that extend from each abdominal segment that produces a serrated appearance.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Marmara fasciella is found in the eastern US from the northeastern states westward to Minnesota and Oklahoma, and south to Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida. This species may have expanded its range in areas where Eastern White Pine has been planted outside of its natural range. In North Carolina, populations have been found from the lower elevations in the mountains to the Coastal Plain. As of 2020, most of our records are unexpectedly from outside of the mountains and foothills where Eastern White Pine is very common.
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 larvae overwinter in the mines, then pupate with the spring warm-up. Adults records are from April-August throughout the range of the species. As of 2020, our adult records extend from May through August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Populations are dependent on Eastern White Pine as a host. This species inhabits a variety of forested habitats that vary from moist to rather dry soil conditions. Unlike most pines, this species can reproduce in shaded situations. It is common in mesic hardwood or mixed-hardwood forests in the mountains and foothills of the Piedmont. Scattered natural populations occur farther east in mesic forests, and it is commonly planted as an ornamental in areas outside of its range.
Larval Host Plants: Populations in Canada and other northern latitudes appear to be monophagous on Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus). Two of our state records are from areas in the Coastal Plain where Pinus strobus is not native and there are no known planted trees. This suggests that other pines may be used. At present, Eastern White Pine is the only documented host. As of 2020, our only mine record for North Carolina was for Pinus strobus in Scotland County.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights, and the mines are conspicuous on the trunks and stems of Pinus strobus.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for White Pine Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
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 data on the distribution and abundance of this species to accurately assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Marmara fasciella - White Pine Barkminer Moth

Photos: 18

Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-10
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-10
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-06-05
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-05-31
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-26
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-26
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-13
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-12-13
Madison Co.
Comment: Stem mines of Pinus strobus; a thin, central frass line was evident.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-26
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-26
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-06-20
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-17
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-17
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-17
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-08-31
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2015-08-17
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2012-05-03
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2012-05-03
Wake Co.
Comment: