Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members:
Phyllonorycter Members:
2 NC Records

Phyllonorycter auronitens (Frey & Boll, 1873) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeTribe: [Lithocolletini]P3 Number: 330269.00 MONA Number: 737.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1908Technical Description, Immature Stages: Braun, 1908                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based primarily of the description in Braun (1908). The head is saffron brown and the face lighter. The antenna is light brown with dark annulations, and the apex is whitish. The thorax and ground of the forewing are shining saffron and rather light. The legs are yellowish gray and unspotted, while the abdomen is dark gray. The marks of the forewings have a strong metallic silvery white luster. These include a very indistinct short basal streak, four pairs of streaks along the wing, and a dark spot with a few silvery white scales at the apex. The first costal streak is at the basal fourth of the wing and is very long and oblique. It curved posteriorly and is dark margined on both sides. The corresponding dorsal streak resembles a spot, is nearer the base relative to the costal streak, and is scarcely dark margined. The second pair of streaks occur at one-half the wing length and consists of two tall, narrow, triangular marks that are somewhat dark margined internally. Their apices usually do not unite to form a complete fascia. The third pair of marks are at three-fourths and are very similar to the preceding pair, but are smaller and the gap between the apices is greater. The fourth pair of markings occur just before the apex and are further reduced in size. The small costal streak may have a few dark scales on the anterior margin. At the apex there is a black dot that is overlaid with a few silvery metallic scales. The cilia are light and a dark curved line extends through them at the apex. The hindwing and cilia are gray.
Wingspan: 6.5-8.2 mm (Braun, 1908)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae feed on alders, and at northern latitudes feed during the autumn. The larva forms a rather large, roundish, underside tentiform mine with a highly wrinkled lower epidermis (Braun, 1908; Eiseman, 2019). The larvae overwinter in the mines and the adults appear in May and June. We have a record of an occupied mine from early August.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Phyllonorycter auronitens occurs in eastern North America. There are scattered records from Ontario, Quebec, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kentucky, and North Carolina. As of 2021, we have a single record from Wake Co. in the eastern Piedmont.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: The flight season is poorly documented, with records from outside of North Carolina extending from April through July. As of 2021, our one adult record is from 2 August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species specializes on alders and presumably uses Hazel Alder in North Carolina. This species is found in wetlands statewide and occurs in and around marshes, fens, swamps, alluvial bottomlands, pond margins, seepages and streams.
Larval Host Plants: The known hosts include Gray Alder (Alnus incana) at northern latitudes and Hazel Alder (A. serrulata) throughout much of the range, including North Carolina. - View
Observation Methods: The adults appear to only rarely visit lights and most records are based on reared adults. We recommend searching for the leaf mines on the undersides of alders during the late summer and early autumn months.
See also Habitat Account for Shoreline Shrublands
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 have only one record for this species as of 2021. It appears to be uncommon or rare within the state where it is at its southernmost range limit. Additional information is needed on this species distribution and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter auronitens - No common name

Photos: 5

Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-08-02
Wake Co.
Comment: An adult that was reared from tentiform mines on Alnus serrulata.
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-08-02
Wake Co.
Comment: An adult that was reared from tentiform mines on Alnus serrulata.
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-08-02
Wake Co.
Comment: An adult that was reared from tentiform mines on Alnus serrulata.
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-08-01
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-08-01
Wake Co.