Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 5 NC Records

Cameraria hamadryadella (Clemens, 1859) - Solitary Oak Leafminer Moth

Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeTribe: [Lithocolletini]P3 Number: 330361.00 MONA Number: 823.00
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.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description of the adults is based on Braun (1908). The antennae are white with dark annulations. The face and thorax are white, while the tuft is white mixed with gray. The forewing is white, with two angulated, shining, ocherous fasciae. The first is just before the basal third and is margined internally with dispersed blackish scales. The second is just behind the middle and margined internally with dispersed scales which are produced in the middle, dividing it into two parts. In the space between the fasciae are a few scattered ocherous scales and an irregular line of blackish scales through the middle. Near the apex is a costal and a dorsal ocherous patch that sometimes meet. The space between them and the second fascia is more or less marked with a line of irregular dark dusting, and separated from each other by a more or less dense cloud of dusting that is sometimes connected with the margining of the second fascia. The apical portion is white, mixed with ocherous, and densely dusted with black scales connected with the line separating the costal and dorsal ocherous patches. The basal third of the wing is whitish and more or less dusted with black and marked with ocherous. There is also a small patch of black scales on the costa near the base, followed by a black dusting that is sometimes arranged into two irregular bands upon an ocherous ground, of which the more basal one is the broader. The apical cilia are tinged with saffron and have a marginal line of blackish scales. The hindwings and cilia are gray. The legs are white, with the tibiae and tarsi spotted with black. Cameraria hamadryadella is distinctive among Cameraria in the eastern US in having forewings with a white ground color. This is most evident in the basal third of the wings.
Wingspan: Expanse 6.5-8.5 mm., the usual size about 8 mm (Braun, 1908).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Females lay the eggs singly on the upper surface of leaves and the hatchlings bore into the leaf epidermis and begin mining (Conner and Beck, 1993). Each larva eventually forms an irregular whitish blotch mine on the upper surface of the leaf. Pupation occurs within the leaf, and the adult punctures the leaf surface and emerges. Larvae in the last seasonal brood overwinter in the leaf litter and the adults emerge the following spring. Conner and Beck (1993) conducted a long-term study of population dynamics in a Virginia population that fed on White Oak. Populations periodically had population explosions where leaves averaged 22 larvae per leaf, compared with <1 larva per leaf in other years. During population irruptions, almost all leaves had at least one mine and one as high as 193 mines. Trees during these years suffered significant defoliation. Fewer than 1% of the larvae survived to become adults. Major sources of mortality were parasitism, predation by birds, host resistance, and intraspecific competition.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Cameraria hamadryadella occurs throughout much of the eastern US and southern Canada, including British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec. Populations occur as far south as Florida and Texas. Braun (1908) noted that this species is very common throughout the Atlantic States, and Conner and Beck (1993) observed population irruptions in the Piedmont of Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, and New Jersey. We have very few records for North Carolina, even though the species appears to be common in many areas of the state.
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
Flight Comments: Populations are bivoltine in most areas, but have three generations per year in northern Florida near the southern limit of the range.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Populations are strongly dependent of White Oak, which if found throughout the state in a variety of habitats such as hardwood forests, suburban neighborhoods, and pastures with scattered shade trees.
Larval Host Plants: Cameraria hamadryadella primarily uses White Oak (Quercus alba) as its host. It has occasionally been observed using other hosts, including Hop Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) around Cincinnati, magnolias in the District of Columbia, and Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra), European Oak (Q. robur), and a hybrid oak (Q. x benderi) in Virginia (Braun, 1908; Conner, 1991).
Observation Methods: The adults visit lights. Local populations can also be documented by searching for the leaf mines on White Oak and rearing the adults.
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory 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.

 Photo Gallery for Cameraria hamadryadella - Solitary Oak Leafminer Moth

Photos: 4

Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2020-06-23
Mecklenburg Co.
Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2020-06-23
Mecklenburg Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2020-05-03
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2012-06-26
Wake Co.