Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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Phyllonorycter Members:
2 NC Records

Phyllonorycter intermixta (Braun, 1930) - No Common Name

Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeP3 Number: 330294.00 MONA Number: 759.00
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, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1930.Technical Description, Immature Stages: Braum, 1930; Eiseman, 2019.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is largely based on Braun's (1930) original description from specimens from Ohio. The antenna is pale fuscous except for silvery white near the base. The tuft is white above and brownish ocherous laterally. The ground color of the thorax and forewing varies from golden to brownish ocherous. A broad white line extends along the anterior margin of the thorax and tegula, then becomes continuous with a broad, straight median basal streak on the forewing. The basal streak extends just beyond one-third the wing length, has a faint dark margin on the costal side, and a white margin on the dorsal side. There are four silvery white costal streaks and three dorsal streaks that all have dark margins on the anterior side. The first dorsal streak is oblique, curved, and its apex ends opposite that of a shorter, oblique costal streak. The second pair of streaks is less oblique and their apices curve towards the apex. The third pair of streaks is narrower, and the dorsal streak is slightly posterior to the costal streak. These are often joined by a silvery line in the middle of the wing. A small black mark is present at the apex that may be overlain with silvery scales anteriorly. The cilia is whitish with a brown marginal line. The hindwing and cilia are gray, with a distinct coppery tinge. The rear leg is whitish with faint fuscous shading. In addition to the markings described above, specimens from areas outside of Braun's collection site in Ohio often deviate in having a white streak on the dorsal margin between the base and the first oblique dorsal streak. This species superficially resembles P. propinquinella, but has three dorsal streaks instead of two. In addition, the white streaks on P. propinquinella often have dark margins on both the anterior and posterior sides.
Wingspan: 7.0-7.5 mm (Braun, 1930).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae produce rather large, wrinkled tentiform mines on the undersides of hazelnut leaves. The mines normally are produced between two lateral veins and tend to have a squarish or blocky appearance. When viewed from the upper leaf surface, they are typically ringed with whitish discoloration where the parenchyma was consumed. Frass is concentrated in the center of a mass. There are sometimes two or three mines on a single leaf. Pupation occurs within the mine and the pupa is suspended in a loose meshwork of silk fibers (Braun, 1930). The final seasonal brood overwinters in the pupal stage.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Phyllonorycter intermixta is found in eastern North America. There are currently only a few scattered records that include Quebec, Ontario, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Ohio, and North Carolina. Our single record is from Wake Co. in the 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: Local populations appear to be multivoltine, with the first brood occurring around June. Braun (1930) collected mines in June, August, and October. As of 2020, our only record is from August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations only occur where hazelnuts are present. Our two native species of hazelnuts occur in a wide variety of habitats that range from dry, rocky, ridge tops and woods (Corylus cornuta) to more mesic forests, stream edges and even swamps (C. americana). Hazelnuts often thrive where there are open woods or thickets.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae and mines have been found on American Hazelnut (Corylus americana), Beaked Hazelnut (C. cornuta) and a hybrid ornamental Hazelnut (C. americana × C. avellana; Robinson et al., 2010; Eiseman, 2019). - View
Observation Methods: We recommend searching for the mines on hazelnuts during the summer and early fall months. Photographs of the adults are needed, so we encourage individuals to rear and photograph adults whenever possible.
See also Habitat Account for General Corylaceous Thickets and Understories
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S1S2
State Protection:
Comments: This species is apparently known from just a few records globally (see Moth Photographers Group) and we currently have only one record for this species in North Carolina. Its host plant is fairly widespread (G5 S5), however, and this moth may have simply been overlooked.

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter intermixta - No common name

Photos: 4

Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-02
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-02
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2013-08-29
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2013-08-29
Wake Co.