Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 5 NC Records

Phyllonorycter diversella (Braun, 1916) - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Family: Gracillariidae Subfamily: LithocolletinaeP3 Number: 330283.00 MONA Number: 750.00
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: MPGTechnical Description, Adults: Braun (1916)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Braun (1916), Eiseman (2019)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The external morphology of Phyllonorycter diversella varies substantially and may possibly reflect sexual differences, geographic variation, or seasonal variation. Braun's (1916) originally described the species based on two specimens from Ohio that differed in antenna patterning and coloration. The following is a description of one, followed by comments about other specimens. The palps are whitish, the face metallic golden, and the tuft dark brown. The antenna is dark gray, with a dark terminal segment that is preceded by eight or nine whitish segments. The thorax and the extreme base of the forewing is deep metallic golden. The ground color of the remainder of the wing is golden or reddish brown and non-metallic. There is a short whitish basal streak just above the fold that is margined with dark brown toward the costa. At about one-third of the wing length, there there is an almost straight whitish fascia that is dark-margined on the anterior side. This is followed by two costal and two dorsal streaks that are whitish with dark anterior margins. The first dorsal streak has an apex that projects between the two smaller costal streaks. The base of the second dorsal streak is slightly posterior to the second costal streak and tends to project forward towards the second costal streak. Beyond this there is is a dark brown irregular apical spot that is often adjoined anteriorly by a small whitish streak. The cilia are grayish near the tornus, but golden elsewhere, and the terminal line of scales is dark brown. The hindwing is gray, with a reddish tinge. The legs are dark brown, with the spurs and terminal segments of tarsi whitish or silvery. A second specimen described by Braun (1916) deviated from the above description in several ways. The tuft was reddish ocherous, the antenna pale gray throughout, and the thorax and the extreme base of the forewing lacked the deep metallic golden color of the first. The colors in general were lighter and more subdued, but the overall patterning was essentially identical. Specimens from Canada (BOLD) often lack the fascia and have a matching set of curved, dorsal and costal streaks. Despite substantial variation among individuals, specimens from throughout the range of this species appear to comprise a single genetic group.
Wingspan: 7 mm (Braun, 1916)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larva constructs a tentiform blotch mine on the lower side of a leaf that is light colored, but darkens with age. The surface of the mine on the underside of the leaf may have one or more longitudinal creases or wrinkles. The upper side of the tent is whitish around the edges, with varying degrees of green and whitish speckling towards the middle. One-half of the mine is partitioned off to form a pupal chamber, and the frass is collected in a ball at one end of the chamber (Eiseman, 2019).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Phyllonorycter diversella is restricted to eastern North America where is occurs in southern Canada and adjoining areas of the northeastern US. From there, the range extends southward and westward to Ohio, Kentucky, eastern Tennessee and western 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
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 flight season is poorly documented, but appears to extend from April through at least September. As of 2020, we have one record of an occupied mine from late September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is polyphagous and uses several species in the Ericaceae that are typically associated with mesic to dry forests.
Larval Host Plants: The known hosts include Sourwood (Oxydendron arboreum), and several species of Gaylussacia and Vaccinium (Eiseman, 2019).
Observation Methods: The adults appear to only rarely visit lights and are best obtained by rearing them from mines. This is the only species of Phyllonorycter that uses Sourwood, so mines found on this species can be reliably assigned to Phyllonorycter diversella.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: As of 2020, we have only one record for the state.

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter diversella - No common name

Photos: 12

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-10-10
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-10-10
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-10-10
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2021-08-24
Scotland Co.
Comment: Reared from tentiform mines collected from Gaylussacia frondosa on 8/18/2021. Adults emerged on 8/24/2021 and 8/26/2021.
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2021-08-24
Scotland Co.
Comment: Reared from tentiform mines collected from Gaylussacia frondosa on 8/18/2021. Adults emerged on 8/24/2021 and 8/26/2021.
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2021-08-18
Scotland Co.
Comment: A tentiform leaf mine on the underside of Gaylussacia frondosa.
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2021-08-18
Scotland Co.
Comment: A tentiform leaf mine on the underside of Gaylussacia frondosa.
Recorded by: Tracy S Feldman on 2021-08-18
Scotland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-20
Madison Co.
Comment: This adult was reared from Sourwood; leaf mine was collected on Sept 25, 2020; overwintered in refrigerator; adult emerged on April 20, 2021 (see companion photo of the mine from 2020-09-25).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-20
Madison Co.
Comment: This adult was reared from Sourwood; leaf mine was collected on Sept 25, 2020; overwintered in refrigerator; adult emerged on April 20, 2021 (see companion photo of the mine from 2020-09-25).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-09-25
Madison Co.
Comment: An occupied tentiform mine on the underside of a Sourwood leaf. A reared adult emerged on April 20, 2021 (see companion photo).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-09-25
Madison Co.
Comment: An upper-surface view of a tentiform mine on Sourwood. A reared adult emerged on April 20, 2021 (see companion photo).