Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFGracillariidae Members:
Chrysaster Members:
33 NC Records

Chrysaster ostensackenella (Fitch, 1859) - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeTribe: [Lithocolletini]P3 Number: 330392.00 MONA Number: 842.00
Comments: Chrysaster is a small genus of leaf-mining moths with only two described species. Chrysaster ostensackenella is the only representative in North America.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1908Technical Description, Immature Stages: Eiseman, 2019                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based primarily on Braun (1908). The face and palps are silvery white, with a purplish and golden iridescent luster. The antenna and tuft are dark brown. The ground color of the forewing is brilliant golden brown, and that of the thorax a shade darker. There are two silvery fascias that are margined anteriorly with dark brown, one at about one-fourth and the second near the middle of the wing. The dark margin on the first fascia shades gradually into the ground color of the wing. Beyond the second streak there are two pairs of opposing dorsal and costal streaks that are also dark margined anteriorly. On a small proportion of specimens, the first pair meets to form a third fascia. The second pair is reduced and often extends into the cilia. The cilia has a band of dark brown marginal scales at the base, but is otherwise silvery gray. The hindwings and cilia are gray. The legs are gray with varying levels of dark banding. This is a distinctively patterned and colored species that is difficult to confuse with other species.
Wingspan: 5.5-6 mm (Braun, 1908).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The hatchling initially produces a short, linear track that widens into an irregular, oblong blotch that usually obliterates the linear portion. The blotch remains more or less flat and can be produced on either surface of a leaflet. When numbers are low, upper surface mines are apparently more prevalent; at higher densities the underside mines may be equally common (Eiseman, 2019). Upper surface mines are initially light yellowish brown, but the central portion becomes darker brown as the mine expands. The color of underside mines is much lighter. When mature, the larva exits through a semicircular slit in the epidermis and spins a flat, oval, pale yellowish-brown cocoon (Braun, 1908; Eiseman, 2019). Individuals overwinter as pupae and the adults emerge after the spring warm-up.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Chrysaster ostensackenella is found primarily in eastern North America. It occurs in southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec; Nova Scotia) and the northeastern states, westward to Iowa and Wisconsin, and as far south as the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Possible disjunct populations have been found in Colorado and Arizona, and the species has been introduced into China (Eiseman, 2019). As of 2021, our records extend from the lower elevations in the mountains to the western Coastal Plain and Sandhills.
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
Flight Comments: Local populations presumably have two or more broods per year. The adults are active from after the spring warm-up until late summer, with peak activity between May and August. As of 2020, our records for adults extend from late April through August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations primarily depend on Black Locust as a host. This species is common in open woodlands, and along fencerows, roadways, and other open, sunny habitats. Older trees are often present in rich, deciduous forests. This species reproduces poorly in full shade and the presence of large trees generally reflects past disturbance that allowed seedling establishment.
Larval Host Plants: The primary host is Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), but other Robinia are occasionally used, including Bristly Locust (R. hispida) and Dwarf Locust (R. nana). As of 2021, all of our records are from Black Locust except for two records of this species using Dwarf Locust (R. nana) in the Sandhills.
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally visit UV lights. We also encourage naturalists to search for the leaf mines on Black Locust or other hosts and rear the adults.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Locust Groves and Thickets
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: This species is fairly common in the lower elevations of the mountains, but less so in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. We currently do not have adequate information on its distribution and abundance to accurately assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Chrysaster ostensackenella - No common name

39 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-09-13
Rutherford Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2022-08-22
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2022-08-22
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2022-08-22
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-20
Polk Co.
Comment: An adult that was reared from Black Locust; mine on Aug. 3; adult emerged on August 20.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-03
Polk Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-03
Polk Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-06-19
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-13
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-03-13
Burke Co.
Comment: A reared adult from a mine from 2021-10-11 (see companion photo).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-03-13
Burke Co.
Comment: A reared adult from a mine from 2021-10-11 (see companion photo).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-10-11
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-10-11
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-10
Jackson Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-02
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-24
Jackson Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-21
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-16
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-16
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-09
Swain Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2021-06-07
Scotland Co.
Comment: Unoccupied mines were common on Robinia nana.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2021-06-07
Scotland Co.
Comment: Unoccupied mines were common on Robinia nana.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2021-06-07
Scotland Co.
Comment: Unoccupied mines were common on Robinia nana.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-08-19
Madison Co.
Comment: A lower surface mine on Black Locust.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-05
Madison Co.
Comment: Reared adult: mine collected from Black Locust on 18 June, 2020; adult emerged from cocoon on 5 July, 2020.