Moths of North Carolina
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Porphyrosela Members:
27 NC Records

Porphyrosela minuta Clarke, 1953 - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeP3 Number: 330393.10 MONA Number: 843.10
Comments: Porphyrosela is a genus of small leaf-mining moths that feed on legumes. There are 12 described species that occur worldwide, including in North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Bentancourt and Scatoni, 2007.Technical Description, Immature Stages: Bentancourt and Scatoni, 2007; Eiseman et al., 2017.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based on the detailed description of adults by Bentancourt and Scatoni (2007). The head has erect brown hair-scales on the vertex, while the forehead is silvery white with flat scales. The antenna is slightly shorter than the forewing and is black, except for the last eight or nine segments that are white. The thorax is silvery white on the dorsal side. The ground color of the forewing is orange with brown metallic highlights, and is overlain with several silvery white streaks with black scales on both margins. The first streak is posteriorly oblique and occurs at about one-third the wing length. It extends from the costal margin to near the dorsal margin. In some specimens it may continue to the dorsal margin to form a complete fascia. A similar streak or fascia runs obliquely in the opposite direction near the middle of the wing. Near the apex there are two silvery white patches with black margins. One is a small, triangular-shaped mark on the dorsal margin at the beginning of the fringe. Just posterior and opposite to this, there is a short, anteriorly oblique streak that extends into the fringe. The fringe has a conspicuous black line that extends obliquely from the dorsal margin towards the apex. The hindwing is narrowly lanceolate and brown with a fringe of long hair around the edges. The legs have a mixture of dark coloration with silver or copper highlights. The abdomen has copper highlights, and the fourth, fifth and seventh ventral segments are silvery white.

This species closely resembles P. desmodiella. Eiseman et al. (2017) noted that when P. desmodiella is viewed laterally, the second fascia is approximately perpendicular with the wing margins, and bends somewhat so that it parallels the first fascia toward the costal margin. The space between the fascias along the costal margin is approximately 20–30% larger than on the dorsal margin. In P. minuta, the first and second fascias are angled equally but in opposite directions, such that the space between them on the costal margin is about twice that on the dorsal margin. The two are further distinguished by the absence of the black terminal line of the forewing of P. desmodiella.
Wingspan: 4-6 mm (Bentancourt and Scatoni, 2007).
Forewing Length: 2.2 -2.7 mm (Bentancourt and Scatoni, 2007).
Adult Structural Features: Clarke (1953) noted that the genitalia of P. desmodiella and P. minuta are similar, but that P. minuta can be distinguished from S. desmodiella by the hooked aedeagus, blunt cucullus, and the sclerotized posterior portion of the ductus bursae.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Females lay eggs singly on the upper leaf surface of clover, and the hatchlings and subsequent instars produce a conspicuous white blotch on the upper leaf surface. The larvae feed on sap during the first three instars, and ingest solid particles in the last two. The mine is an irregular white blotch that is approximately 7-9 mm wide and 10-12 mm long. The upper epidermis eventually becomes wrinkled and the leaflet bends upward (Bentancourt and Scatoni, 2007; Eiseman et al., 2017). Pupation occurs within the mine and the pupal exuviae protrude from the mine upon adult emergence. The older, mature mines of P. minuta are easily distinguished from those of other North American clover-mining insects by the wrinkled upper epidermis (Eiseman et al., 2017). Individual clover leaves often have a mine on each leaflet, and in some cases two or more mines per leaflet.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Porphyrosela minuta is native to southern South America and only recent arrived in the United States around 2008 (Eiseman et al., 2017). It has since become widespread in the eastern United States and California. In the East, it occurs from Maryland and vicinity to as far south as southern Florida, and as far west as Kentucky, Tennessee, and eastern Texas. It occurs statewide in 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
Flight Comments: Local populations are multivoltine and the adults are active throughout the growing season. The complete life cycle from the egg to the emerge of the adults take around 16 days, so there are likely seven or more generations per year (Bentancourt and Scatoni, 2007). As of 2020, our records for occupied leaf mines and adults extend from June through November.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations are dependent on White Clover, which is commonly found in mowed lawns, pastures, along roadsides, and in other open, sunny habitats.
Larval Host Plants: The only known host is White Clover (Trifolium repens).
Observation Methods: Most of our records are based on leaf mines, but the adults are also attarcted to UV-lights.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SNA
State Protection:
Comments: This species was recently introduced from South America. It apparently only feeds on White Clover in the US, which is an introduced species that is native of Eurasia. As such, the species does not merit protection.

 Photo Gallery for Porphyrosela minuta - No common name

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

Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2022-07-26
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-07
Madison Co.
Comment: One of three adults that were reared from Trifolium repens; mines on June 27, 2022; adults on July 7, 2022 (see companion photo of the mines).
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-07-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-27
Madison Co.
Comment: Occupied mines were common on White Clover.
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-11-17
Brunswick Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2021-10-14
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2021-10-14
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-09-28
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2021-06-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2021-06-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2021-06-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-11-10
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-11-07
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-10-23
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-10-23
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-10-21
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-09-23
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-09-20
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-09-19
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-09-19
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-27
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Margarita Lankford on 2019-11-20
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Margarita Lankford on 2019-11-20
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Margarita Lankford on 2019-11-20
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: on 2019-10-26
Madison Co.
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