Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFGracillariidae Members: 4 NC Records

Phyllonorycter crataegella (Clemens, 1859) - Apple Blotch Leafminer


Taxonomy
Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeP3 Number: 330278.00 MONA Number: 746.00
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.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Landry and Wagner (1995)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Landry and Wagner (1995); Maier (1985)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based on the description by Braun (1908). The antenna is dark silvery gray, and the face and labial palp silvery. The tuft is dark brown and mixed with whitish scales. The thorax and forewing are brownish golden, with a silvery basal streak that is continuous with a white line on each side of the thorax. It extends for two-fifths of the wing length, and is black margined toward the costa and around its pointed apex. The dorsal margin is narrowly white toward the base. There are four costal and two or three white dorsal streaks. The first costal and the first two dorsal streaks are dark margined on both sides, while the others only have a dark margin on the anterior side. The first costal streak begins at two-fifths the wing length, is oblique and rounded beneath, and terminates before the middle. The other three costal streaks are nearly perpendicular or slant slightly forward. The first dorsal streak is somewhat nearer the base than the first costal streak and is also posteriorly oblique. Its apex often terminates a little beyond that of the first costal streak. The second dorsal streak is triangular, and is just before the tornus and opposite the second costal streak. A streak or heavy dusting of dark scales extends from the space between the second pair of streaks to the apex. The marginal line in the cilia is blackish, with a decided bluish luster. The cilia are grayish ocherous, and the hindwing and cilia are gray. The abdomen is dark gray above, and silvery beneath, with a more ocherous anal tuft. The legs are grayish, and the hind tarsi spotted with fuscous above. Phyllonorycter blancardella is an introduced species that is very similar, but only feeds on apples and ornamental crab-apples. This species can usually be distinguished by the fact that the basal patch of P. blancardella tends to bulge towards the basal streak, the basal streak is relatively broad, and the mesoscutellum has a prominent patch of white scales (few or no scales of P. crataegella). Phyllonorycter propinquinella is also very similar to P. crataegella. Braun (1908) noted that P. propinquinella differs in being larger (wingspan 8-9 mm versus 6.5-7 mm for P. crataegella), and in having a more oblique first dorsal streak that is nearer the base of the wing relative to that of P. crataegella. All of these species are most reliably identified by using genitalia or molecular markers (Landry and Wagner, 1995).
Wingspan: 6.5-7 mm (Braun, 1908)
Forewing Length: 3.1-4.3 mm for the first generation; 2.5-3.6 for the latter generations (Landry and Wagner, 1995).
Adult Structural Features: (Landry and Wagner, 1995) have detailed descriptions of the male and female genitalia, which are distinctive.
Immatures and Development: The larvae feed on members of the Rosaceae and have three sap-feeding instars that are followed by two tissue-feeding instars. The last instars produce silk-covered, tentiform mines on the undersides of leaves. The larva constructs a silk-covered mine on the underside of the leaf that has a series of longitudinal creases. It feeds beneath a silk shelter and removes small patches of tissue that causes the mine to have a spotted appearance when viewed from the upper leaf surface (Landry and Wagner, 1995). The last instar spins a sparse cocoon against the upper side of the mine and pupates shortly thereafter. The pupa pushes through the mine just before the adult emerges. Populations have two or more broods per year and the pupae from the last brood overwinter within the mines.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Phyllonorycter crataegella is found in eastern North America, particularly in apple-growing regions of the East. The range extends from southern Canada (Manitoba eastward to Nova Scotia) and the New England states southward to at least North Carolina and Tennessee, and westward to Arkansas. Illinois, and Michigan. As of 2021, we only have records from the western Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont that are based on adult rearing records.
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
Immature 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 are present from April through September in regions outside of North Carolina and have multiple broods. As of 2021, we have larval records from early June through late July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is found in hardwood forests with Black Cherry or native host plants in the Rosaceae, as well as apple orchards.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae are polyphagous on members of the Rosaceae, including commercial apples and ornamental crab-apples (Maier, 1985; Maier and Davis, 1989; Landry and Wagner, 1995). Genera that are used as hosts include Amelanchier, Aronia, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus, and Sorbus. Native species that are used as hosts are Canadian Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), American Plum (Prunus americana), Fire Cherry (P. pensylvanica), Black Cherry (P. serotina), Choke Cherry (P. virginiana) and American Mountain-ash (Sorbus americana).
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally come to lights, but many records are from reared adults. In North Carolina, the mines of this species are often found on the undersides of Black Cherry.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: As of 2021, we currently have only a few records based on reared adults. More information is needed on the distribution and abundance of this species before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter crataegella - Apple Blotch Leafminer

Photos: 9

Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-07-26
Scotland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-07-26
Scotland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-07-26
Scotland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-07-26
Scotland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-06-26
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-06-26
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2020-06-26
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2019-06-04
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2019-06-04
Wake Co.
Comment: