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

Phyllonorycter martiella (Braun, 1908) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeTribe: [Lithocolletini]P3 Number: 330305.00 MONA Number: 770.00
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, 1908.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based primarily on the description in Braun (1908). The antenna is brownish gray, and the face and palps are yellowish white. The scales of the tuft are pale brownish ocherous, and darker toward the tips. The thorax and forewings are deep reddish saffron. There is a rather broad median white basal streak that ends at one-third the wing length. The streak is faintly dark margined on the costal side and at its apex. Just before the middle of the wing there is a curved white fascia that is margined on its anterior side with dark brown scales. Beyond this are three costal and two dorsal white streaks that are also margined on their anterior side with dark brown scales. The dark margin on the last costal and dorsal streaks is often faint. The first dorsal streak is oblique and begins opposite the first costal streak, which is wedge-shaped and nearly perpendicular to the costa. The apex of the dorsal streak is separated from the apex of the second costal streak by a conspicuous gap. The second dorsal streak is above the tornus and points toward the second costal streak. A conspicuous black apical dot is present just below the third costal streak. The cilia are pale grayish brown with a dark brown marginal line that becomes darker toward the tornus. The hindwings and cilia are brownish gray, and the abdomen is dark brownish gray. The legs are pale brownish gray, and the tarsi are unspotted.
Wingspan: Alar expanse 6.8 mm (Braun, 1908)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larva forms an elongated tentiform mine on the lower leaf surface, and the loosened epidermis has a series of fine ridges (Eiseman, 2019). The larva does not spin a cocoon, but the half of the mine containing the pupa is sparingly lined with silk.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Phyllonorycter martiella has been found at scattered localities across southern Canada, from British Columbia and Alberta, to as far east as Nova Scotia. In the US it occurs from Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts, westward to Michigan, and southward to Kentucky and western North Carolina. As of 2020, we have only one historical record for 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: Adults are active during the summer months following the spring leaf-out. Our one record from North Carolina does not have a date.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our one record probably comes from a Cove Forest.
Larval Host Plants: Phyllonorycter martiella specializes on birches (Robinson et al., 2010; Eiseman, 2019). The known hosts are Sweet Birch (B. lenta) and Bog Birch (B. pumila). - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights, and have been successfully reared from mines that were collected from birch leaves.
See also Habitat Account for General Montane Mesic Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S1S2
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter martiella - No common name

Photos: 2

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-20
Haywood Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-20
Haywood Co.