Moths of North Carolina
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Cameraria Members:
6 NC Records

Cameraria bethunella (Chambers, 1871) - No Common Name

Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeP3 Number: 330346.00 MONA Number: 809.00
Comments: Cameraria is a genus of leaf-mining micromoths. Many species are stenophagous and specialize on a small number of closely related host species. There are currently more than 50 described species in North America.
Species Status: There are numerous species of Cameraria in the eastern US that feed on oaks, including several species that are similar to C. bethunella. Braun (1908) published a comprehensive monograph on Cameraria that included detailed descriptions of all, but many were based on one or a few local populations and did not fully capture the range of variation within each species. Since the publication of Braun's work, no one has published a revision that incorporates genitalia and molecular data to delineate species. As such, identifications of some species must remain tentative, including C. bethunella and related forms.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG; BugGuideTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1908.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is largely based on Chambers' (1871) original description. The face and palpi are silvery white; the antennae silvery white beneath and brownish banded with white above. The head tuft is golden and interspersed with white scales to produce an overall light tan to whitish coloration. The thorax is reddish orange and sometimes faintly edged with white on the upper margins. The forewing is reddish orange, and has three pairs of costal and dorsal silvery streaks with dark margins on the posterior edge. The first pair of streaks is shorter than the middle pair, and the dorsal streak is nearer to the wing base than the costal streak. The costal streak is oblique and at about the basal one-third of the wing. The second pair occurs at about the middle of the wing. These streaks are opposite each other, are slanted or curved towards the rear, and often connect to form an angulated fascia. The dark dusting on the posterior margin typically extends from the fascia angle posteriorly towards the third pair of streaks. The third pair is a little behind the apical one-third, and the two streaks are opposite, relatively straight, and sometimes fuse to form a fascia. The apex is dusted with a patch of blackish scales. A small white spot or streak adjoins the black patch. The cilia are fulvous, with a dark brown marginal line at their base. C. fletcherella is similar, but has a fourth costal streak. The tuft is also white in the middle and ocherous on the sides. C. arcuella is a larger species (wingespan = 10 mm), and lacks the dark dusting that extends from the fascia angle posteriorly towards the third pair of streaks.
Wingspan: 6.5-7.5 mm (Braun, 1908).
Immatures and Development: The larvae form oval, upper surface blotch mines on oaks and chestnuts. The larvae pupate in flat, oval, silken cocoons (Braun, 1908; Eiseman, 2019).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Cameraria bethunella appears to be broadly distributed in eastern North America. Populations have been documented in southern Ontario and Quebec, and in much of the eastern US to as far south as Texas.
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
Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants: This species is a rather generalized feeder on members of the Fagaceae (Eiseman, 2019). The documented hosts include American Chestnut (Castanea dentata), Bear Oak (Quercus ilicifolia), Shingle Oak (Q. imbricaria), Bur Oak (Q. macrocarpa), Pin Oak (Q. palustris), Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra), Post Oak (Q. stellata), and Black Oak (Q. velutina).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. The blotch mines can be found on the upper surfaces of oaks and American Chestnut. Rearing of adults is required to separate these from other Cameraria species that mine oak leaves and produce similar mines.
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S4
State Protection:
Comments: This species is poorly documented in the state; additional documentation of its distribution and abundance is needed before we can determine its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Cameraria bethunella - No common name

Photos: 6

Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-07-06
Orange Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-06-06
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-27
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-06-20
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2014-06-06
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2014-06-03
Wake Co.