Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 1 NC Records

Phyllonorycter obscuricostella (Clemens, 1859) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeP3 Number: 330311.00 MONA Number: 775.00
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG; BogGuideTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1908.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is primarily based on the description in Clemens (1859). The head and frontal tuft are silvery, and the thorax is very pale golden. The ground color of the forewing is pale golden, and frequently lighter colored on the dorso-basal third. The forewing has a silvery median streak that extends from the base to the middle of the wing. The streak has a black margin on the costal edge and terminates between the first pair of costal and dorsal streaks. There are a total of three silvery dorsal streaks and four silvery costal streaks, with a black margin on the basal (anterior) edge. The black margin is often reduced or missing on the last two costal streaks and the last dorsal streak. The first pair of dorsal and costal streaks are near the mid-wing, and are very oblique and long relative to the others. A second pair of streaks that are less oblique occurs at about three-fourths. The remaining streaks (two costal streaks; one dorsal) are greatly reduced in size. The apical spot is black, while the cilia are grayish with a black marginal line. The hindwing and cilia are bluish gray.
Wingspan: 6.0-6.5 mm (Braun, 1908).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae mine the underside of the leaves of Ostrya and produce small tentiform mines. The mines are usually between two veins and are less wrinkled than those of Phyllonorycter ostryaefoliella. The pupa is formed inside of a thin silken web which occupies an entire half of the mine (Braun, 1908).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Phyllonorycter obscuricostella is found in the eastern US from Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, west to Illinois and southward to Kentucky and North Carolina. As of 2020, our one record for North Carolina is from the Piedmont.
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
Habitats and Life History
Habitats:
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on Ostrya virginiana (Robinson et al., 2010)
Observation Methods: The adults appear to rarely visit lights and most records are from reared adults. Searching for mines on the undersides of Ostrya leaves is the easiest way to document local populations. Phyllonorycter ostryaefoliella also mines the undersides of Ostrya leaves, but the mine is larger and more wrinkled than that of P. obscuricostella, and is usually formed near the leaf margin rather than between two veins (Eiseman, 2019).
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Dry-Mesic Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR] SU
State Protection:
Comments:

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter obscuricostella - No common name

Photos: 2

Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-06-12
Wake Co.
Comment: A lower-surface tentiform mine on Ostrya virginiana. The mine of this species has one central crease, but few wrinkles on the underside. An adult was reared from this one.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-06-12
Wake Co.
Comment: A lower-surface tentiform mine on Ostrya virginiana. The mine of this species has one central crease, but few wrinkles on the underside. An adult was reared from this one.