Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 5 NC Records

Phyllonorycter mariaeella (Chambers, 1875) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeP3 Number: 330304.00 MONA Number: 769.00 MONA Synonym: Phyllonorycter affinis
Comments: Eiseman and Davis (2020) treated a closely related form, Phyllonorycter affinis, as a junior synonym of P. mariaeella.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG; BugGuide.Technical Description, Adults: Braun (1908); Eiseman and Davis (2020).Technical Description, Immature Stages: Eiseman and Davis (2020)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is primarily based on Braun's (1908) description of this species. The ground color of the head, head tuft, thorax, and forewings varies from reddish saffron to golden brown. The antenna is whitish with dark annulations above. There are two conspicuous white fasciae on the forewing, one at the basal fourth, and the other at the middle of the wing length. Both are bowed slightly outward and margined with dark brown on the anterior side. At the beginning of the costal cilia there is a white streak that nearly meets an opposing dorsal streak. These are also dark margined on the anterior side. At the apex there is a curved white streak that sometimes extends through the cilia on the dorsal margin. This streak often has a weak dark margin on the anterior side. The apex of the wing is sometimes darkened by a few brown scales, and the cilia are slightly paler than the wing ground color. The hindwing is gray with reddish cilia, and the legs are whitish with black bands.
Wingspan: Expanse 8-8.5 mm (Braun, 1908)
Immatures and Development: The larva forms an underside tentiform mine in which the frass is collected in a loose mass toward one end. The undersurface of the mine is strongly wrinkled, and a section of the leaf is often curled to produce the tentiform mine. Feeding typically results in the upper leaf surface becoming speckled with small green and white blotches. The larva pupates inside the mine in a flat, oblong, translucent white cocoon. The pupa may be thrust through either the upper or the lower epidermis when the adult emerges (Eiseman and Davis, 2020).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Except for one record from Utah, P. mariaeella in restricted to eastern North America. This species occurs in southern Canada (Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec) and adjoining areas of the northeastern US. From there the range extends westward and southward to Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Texas (Eiseman and Davis, 2020). As of 2020, we have only a few records from the eastern Piedmont and western Coastal Plain.
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: Local populations appear to be bivoltine, with the first brood beginning in June-July and a second in Oct-Nov. We have records of occupied mines in North Carolina from 29 June to 10 July, with adults emerging from 13 July until sometime between 26 and 31 July (Eiseman and Davis, 2020).
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations are restricted to sites with the host plants, which include both native and introduced members of the Caprifoliaceae. These occupy a wide variety of disturbed and forested habitats within the state. Examples include mesic to dry hardwood, pine, and mixed pine-hardwood forests, edge habitats such as roadways and fencerows, and urban landscapes.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae mine the leaves of members of the Caprifoliaceae, including honeysuckles (Lonicera), horse-gentians (Triosteum), and coralberries (Symphoricarpos). Symphoricarpos was probably the most important native host species, but mines are increasing being found on several invasive honeysuckles that occur in the eastern US and Canada (Eiseman and Davis, 2020). These include Japanese Honeysuckle (L. japonica), Amur Honeysuckle (L. maackii), Tatarian Honeysuckle (L. tatarica), and Bell's Honeysuckle (L. ×bella). The native species that are used are Coral Honeysuckle (L. sempervirens), Grape Honeysuckle (L. reticulata), Coralberry (S. orbiculatus), and Yellowfruit Horse-gentian (T. angustifolium). As of 2020, our NC records are from either Coral Honeysuckle or Japanese Honeysuckle.
Observation Methods: The adults rarely visit lights, so we recommend searching for the leaf mines and rearing and photographing the adults.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: This species is seemingly rare in the state, but this may reflect the fact that little statewide effort has been put forth to document leafminers in North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter mariaeella - No common name

Photos: 11

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-30
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-30
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman and Charley Eiseman on 2017-07-20
Durham Co.
Comment: Reared from larva/pupa in a lower-surface tentiform mine on Lonicera japonica. Photo by Charley Eiseman.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2017-07-10
Durham Co.
Comment: A view of a lower-surface tentiform mine on Lonicera japonica.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2017-07-10
Durham Co.
Comment: A view of the upper leaf surface of Lonicera sempervirens with an occupied lower-surface tentiform mine (see companion photo of the adult from 2017-07-20 that was reared from this).
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2017-07-10
Durham Co.
Comment: A view of the lower leaf surface of Lonicera sempervirens with an occupied lower-surface tentiform mine (see companion photo of the adult from 2017-07-20 that was reared from this).
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman and Charley Eiseman on 2016-07-14
Scotland Co.
Comment: An adult that was reared from Lonicera sempervirens. Photo by Charley Eiseman.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman and Charley Eiseman on 2016-07-14
Scotland Co.
Comment: An adult that was reared from Lonicera sempervirens. Photo by Charley Eiseman.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-06-29
Scotland Co.
Comment: A view of the lower leaf surface of Lonicera sempervirens with two occupied lower-surface tentiform mines (see companion photo from 2016-07-14 of adults that were reared from these).
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-06-29
Scotland Co.
Comment: A view of the upper leaf surface of Lonicera sempervirens with two occupied lower-surface tentiform mines.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-06-29
Scotland Co.
Comment: A view of the upper leaf surface of Lonicera sempervirens with two occupied lower-surface tentiform mines.