Moths of North Carolina
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Phyllonorycter Members:
5 NC Records

Phyllonorycter argentifimbriella (Clemens, 1859) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeTribe: [Lithocolletini]P3 Number: 330266.00 MONA Number: 733.00
Comments: Phyllonorycter is a genus of small and often colorful moths, with 79 described species in North America. The larvae of most form underside tentiform mines on woody plants and pupate within the mines.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1908.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is primarily based on the original description by Clemens (1859). The head, front and thorax are silvery-white, and the antenna is silvery white with dark brown annulations. The forewing is silvery white over the basal half to three-fifths, then grades into pale golden towards the wing tip. A dark brown basal streak that is margined with golden on the costal side extends nearly to the first costal streak. There are four silvery costal streaks with a dark margin on the anterior (basal) side. The first is very oblique and the dark margin often extends as a fine line along the costa toward the base. The remaining three are reduced in size and have dark margins that are almost perpendicular to the costa. There are two silvery dorsal streaks with a dark margin on the anterior (basal) side. The first is opposite the second costal streak, while the second is reduced in size and opposite the third costal streak. The apical spot is black and round, and there is a dark brown marginal line at the base of the silver-gray cilia. The hindwing and cilia are silver-gray. Phyllonorycter argentifimbriella closely resembles P. quercialbella, but it has four costal streaks compared with only three in P. quercialbella. Phyllonorycter argentifimbriella is also similar to P. lucidicostella, but has a forewing with less golden coloration, and a dark brown basal streak that usually has a narrow golden margin (the streak is mostly golden in P. lucidicostella) and sometimes has a darker margin). In addition, the streak of P. argentifimbriella is noticeably narrower than that of P. lucidicostella, and the second dorsal streak is more prominent (often greatly reduced in P. lucidicostella). These two species segregate by host plants, so reared adults can be easily identified based on the hosts (oaks versus maples).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae make tentiform mines on the underside of oak leaves. The mine is often formed at the leaf margin, especially on a small lobe. This eventually causes the lobe to fold under the leaf. The pupa is suspended in the mine in a thin web (Braun, 1908; Eiseman, 2019). In a mine examined by Eiseman (2019), the frass was packed at one edge of the mine and the pupa was thrust from the opposite edge upon emergence of the adult.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Phyllonorycter argentifimbriella is found in eastern North America from Ontario, Quebec and the northeastern US, westward to Illinois and southward to Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
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 have been found in areas outside of North Carolina from March-October; our one record for North Carolina as of 2020 is from June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The larvae feed on oaks, and the known hosts are all members of the white oak group.
Larval Host Plants: The known hosts include White Oak (Quercus alba), Swamp White Oak (Q. bicolor), and Rock Chestnut Oak (Q. montana).
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S1S3
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 within the state to accurately assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter argentifimbriella - No common name

Photos: 6

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-04-06
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-03-24
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-03-24
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-03-24
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-19
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-19
Guilford Co.