Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 3 NC Records

Phyllonorycter ostryaefoliella (Clemens, 1859) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeTribe: [Lithocolletini]P3 Number: 330316.00 MONA Number: 781.00
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: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1908.Technical Description, Immature Stages: Braun, 1908.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based primarily on the description by Clemens (1859). The antenna and front of the head are silvery, and the tuft is a mix of silvery and fuscous scales. The thorax is silvery, with the basal part of the tegula pale golden. The forewing is pale golden to golden-brown with a median basal streak that varies from silvery to pale whitish. The basal streak lacks a dark margin, and extends from the wing base to about mid-length, where it terminates between the first pair of dorsal and costal streaks. A similar streak occurs along the basal portion of the dorsal margin, but is shorter than the median streak and may have a faint black internal margin. The forewing has four silvery costal streaks and three dorsal streaks with a black margin on their anterior edges. The last streak on the costa may have the black margin missing, and the third dorsal streak is often greatly reduced in size and sometimes missing. The first costal and first dorsal streaks form a pair near the middle of the wing and are oblique and project apically. The second dorsal and second costal streak form a similar pair at about two-thirds, but are shorter and more broadly triangular in shape. The third dorsal and costal streaks form a less conspicuous pair at about four-fifths the wing length. The wing tip has a conspicuous circular black spot, while the cilia are fulvous gray with a blackish marginal line. The hindwing is gray with fulvous gray cilia. Phyllonorycter ostryaefoliella resembles several other Phyllonorycter species (e.g., Phyllonorycter propinquinella). Characters that are helpful in separating this species from others include the golden brown ground color, the circular black apical spot (often streaked in other species), and the basal streak that lacks a dark margin (often dark margined on the costal side or the terminal half in other species).
Wingspan: 6-6.5 mm (Braun, 1908).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae are cylindrical and pale yellow. They mine the undersides of leaves and produce tentiform mines that are usually formed near the leaf margin. The mature mine is highly wrinkled and may have the leaf edge folded over it (Braun, 1908; Eiseman, 2019). The larva pupates in a small, ovoid cocoon that is suspended within the mine. The cocoon is constructed out of frass and silk.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Phyllonorycter ostryaefoliella is rather patchily distributed in eastern North America where the host plant occurs locally. Populations have been found in southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec; Nova Scotia) and adjacent areas in the northeastern US. The range extends southward and westward to Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and 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
Habitats and Life History
Habitats:
Larval Host Plants: The larvae use American Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) as the primary host. This species has been reported to use American Beech, but that record is suspect and has not been verified by others (Eiseman, 2019).
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 obscuricostella also mines the undersides of Ostrya leaves, but the mine is smaller and less wrinkled than that of P. ostryaefoliella, and is usually formed 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: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments:

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter ostryaefoliella - No common name

Photos: 5

Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2019-05-10
Wake Co.
Comment: A lower-surface tentiform mine on Ostrya virginiana. This species has mines that are very wrinkled on their undersides.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-05-25
Wake Co.
Comment: Two lower-surface tentiform mines on Ostrya virginiana. This species has mines that are very wrinkled on their undersides.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-05-25
Wake Co.
Comment: Two lower-surface tentiform mines on Ostrya virginiana. This species has mines that are very wrinkled on their undersides.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2017-07-10
Durham Co.
Comment: A lower-surface tentiform mine with wrinkled lower surface. These were not reared successfully--probably older, empty mines.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2017-07-10
Durham Co.
Comment: A lower-surface tentiform mine with wrinkled lower surface. These were not reared successfully--probably older, empty mines.