Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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Cameraria Members:
2 NC Records

Cameraria tubiferella (Clemens, 1860) - No Common Name

Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeP3 Number: 330387.00 MONA Number: 838.00
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: Cameraria tubiferella was described in 1860, and relatively few adult specimens have been found since then. Rob Van Epps recently photographed an adult in Mecklenburg Co., which is our first state record.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Clemens, 1860; Braun, 1908.Technical Description, Immature Stages: Clemens, 1860; Braun, 1908.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The forewing has a light reddish or saffron ground color. There are two broad silvery white fascia with black posterior borders that are slightly oblique and nearer the base on the dorsal margin. One occurs at about the basal third, and the other at or just beyond midway. The head has a whitish tuft, and the antenna has a fuscous ground color with whitish annulations along its length. The apical cilia and the basal joint of the antenna have the same ground color as the forewings. The hindwing and cilia are dark gray. The legs are rather boldly marked with black and white bands. Cameraria tubiferella is distinctive among the eastern North American Cameraria in having two conspicuous silvery white fascia with black posterior borders, and no other obvious marking. Braun (1908) noted that individuals sometimes have a minute white spot with a few black scales near the apex.
Wingspan: 8 mm (Braun, 1908).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae mine the upper surfaces of oak leaves. They produce broad linear tracks that gradually increase in width and that are often curved or wavy. A larva typically orients transverse to the direction of the mine and deposits a rather thin line of blackish frass along the edges on both sides (Clemens, 1960; Braun, 1908; Eiseman, 2019). It will sometimes return to the lower portion of the mine and create a new pathway that produces a branched pattern to the mine. Pupation occurs at the end of the mine in a circular cell that is slightly lined with silk. The larva has a blackish brown head and a pale greenish body with pale brown dorsal maculae. Clemens (1860) noted that the fall brood overwinters as pupae and the adults emerge about the middle of May.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The distribution of this species is poorly documented due to the scarcity of records. Populations have been found in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, and northern Florida. As of 2022, we have only two records for North Carolina.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Based on very limited records, the adults are active from May through October.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Adults are associated primarily with hardwood forests that support White Oak and Swamp Chestnut Oak.
Larval Host Plants: White Oak (Quercus alba) appears to be the primary host. This species has also been reported to use Swamp Chestnut Oak (Q. michauxii) and Live Oak (Q. virginiana; Eiseman, 2019). As of 2022, our only record is from Swamp Chestnut Oak. - View
Observation Methods: Adults appear to rarely visit lights. We recommend searching for the leaf mines on White Oak or Swamp Chestnut Oak and rearing adults.
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S1S3
State Protection:
Comments: Based on the scarcity of records, this species appears to be uncommon or rare throughout its range.

 Photo Gallery for Cameraria tubiferella - No common name

Photos: 2

Recorded by: David George, Becky Watkins on 2022-11-08
Camden Co.
Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2020-08-30
Mecklenburg Co.