Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFElachistidae Members: 4 NC Records

Antaeotricha osseella (Walsingham, 1889) - No Common Name


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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: ElachistidaeSubfamily: StenomatinaeTribe: [Stenomatini]P3 Number: 420228.00 MONA Number: 1015.00
Comments: The genus Antaeotricha is endemic to the New World and includes nearly 400 species of mostly neotropical species. Twenty species are currently recognized in North America.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Duckworth (1964)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Marquis et al. (2019)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is primarily from Duckworth (1964). The face, labial palps, and dorsum of the head are whitish and sprinkled with brown scales. The thorax and forewing are concolorous and vary from light tan to light brown. The forewing has a strong luster and has two paired blackish spots at the end of cell at about two-thirds the wing length. The hindwing is light tan with white cilia, and the abdomen is ochreous. The legs are whitish, and the foreleg is dark fuscous anteriorly. Duckworth (1964) noted that this species is similar in size to A. decorosella and A. unipunctella, but the coloration is distinct. These species are darker overall, including the face, labial palps, and dorsum of the head that are not whitish as seen in A. osseella.
Wingspan: 22-24 mm (Duckworth, 1964)
Adult Structural Features: Duckworth (1964) has descriptions and illustrations of the genitalia. The spine on the tip of the aedeagus in the male, and the median slot in the genital plate in the female, are distinctive genital characters that distinguish it from A. decorosella and A. unipunctella.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae are leaftiers that construct shelters by binding two oak leaves together with silk. They feed on the enclosed tissue, then pupate, after which the adults emerge within a few days to two weeks. Marquis et al. (2019) found occupied shelters from April through September in Missouri. Larvae in the last seasonal brood appear to overwinter in dried, compacted leaves, then resume feeding after the spring leaf-out (Carroll and Kearby, 1978). The first adults emerge in June. Marquis et al. (2019) have detailed descriptions of the larvae. The older larvae have a dull greenish body and a head that is spotted gray and black, with the black spots sometimes fusing to almost form a curved band across the epicranium. The prothoracic shield is spotted black and gray and has two large lateral contrasting black dots.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Antaeotricha osseella ranges from New York and Massachusetts southward to South Carolina and Florida, and westward to Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri. As of 2020, we have only three records that are all from the mountains.
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)

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Flight Comments: Adults are in flight between May to September in different areas of the range, with June through August the peak seasonal months. Our three historical records from near Highlands and Brevard were from June and August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations are found in forested habitats with oaks. Most of the host species are found in mesic to dry habitats such as oak-hickory forests, mesic upland slopes, and rocky, dry ridges.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae appear to only feed on oaks (Robinson et al, 2010; Marquis et al., 2019). The known hosts include White Oak (Quercus alba), Scarlet Oak (Q. coccinea), Shingle Oak (Q. imbricaria), Chestnut Oak (Q. montana), Chinquapin Oak (Q. muehlenbergii), Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra), Post Oak (Q. stellata) and Black Oak (Q. velutina).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights, and individuals have been successfully reared from larvae in tied oak leaves.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SH
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have only three historical records for this species from two sites in the mountains.