Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFElachistidae Members: 68 NC Records

Antaeotricha schlaegeri (Zeller, 1854) - Schlaeger's Fruitworm Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: ElachistidaeSubfamily: StenomatinaeTribe: [Stenomatini]P3 Number: 420224.00 MONA Number: 1011.00
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: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)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 based in part on the description by Duckworth (1964). The face is white and the labial palp is white with a sprinkling of gray to dusky scales. The thorax is white dorsally with a conspicuous brownish-black tuft posteriorly. The ground color of the forewing is white, and the basal half has a dark brown or blackish patch that extends along the inner margin to one-third or more before phasing into gray. The remainder of the wing has a series of wormy, light gray to grayish brown marks that are more concentrated on the apical half. In addition to these, there are two broad subterminal bands and a narrower terminal band near the base of the fringe that are also light gray to grayish brown. The subterminal bands are sometimes blurred or otherwise indistinct, and the terminal band is often represented by a row of spots. The bands and wormy marks terminate before reaching the costa, except for one or two small marks near the wing base. The fringe has a series of four or five blackish spots near the base. The abdomen is white and the hindwing is very pale tan with white cilia. The legs are whitish, and the tarsi have a series of dark rings. The foreleg is generally more smoky than the others. This species is very similar to A. leucillana and the two cannot be reliably separated using photographs. The species differ in size, and wing length or total length measurements are essential for identification. Photo submissions must include a size reference such as a mm ruler or coin. Adults from North Carolina typically measure between 12-14 mm total length versus 10 mm or less for A. leucillana.
Wingspan: 21-27 mm (Duckworth, 1964)
Adult Structural Features: Duckworth (1964) provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. Male A. leucillana can be easily distinguished from those of A. schlaegeri by the presence of an uncus with a broadened bifid tip and a broad, apically flared aedeagus. The females have a reduced genital plate and small corpus bursae relative to females of A. schlaegeri.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Antaeotricha schlaegeri is a solitary leaf-tying species that occasionally lives in leaf ties that are shared with Psilocorsis species. The first instar skeletonizes leaves, but later instars form a flat leaf tie that is held together with silken bands. Larvae from the second brood overwinter in matted leaves on the forest floor, then pupate in the spring (Carroll and Kirby, 1978; Marquis et al., 2019). The mature larvae are pale greenish white. The head capsule is mottled brown and white with a black 'W' or 'M' mark across the frontal area and epicrania. Black genal stripes are present and the prothoracic shield is unmarked except for scattered spots, and sometimes a thin line on the anterior and lateral margins (Marquis et al., 2019). The mature larvae are virtually identical to those of A. leucillana and cannot be readily identified to species based on photographs.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Many of the records on citizen-science sites such iNaturalist are questionably because size measurements are needed to identify specimens from photographs. Duckworth's (1964) range map includes much of the eastern United States southward to North Carolina and westward to Missouri, Texas, and Arizona. MPG shows a broader distribution, with most of the eastern US covered south to the Gulf coast and central Florida, and with isolates in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. In Canada, this species occurs sporadically from Saskatchewan eastward to Nova Scotia (Pohl et al., 2018). As of 2020, our records are mostly from the Piedmont and mountains, with a single record from the Coastal Plain.
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: Local populations appear to be univoltine at northern latitudes, but double brooded in the southern portion on the range (Carroll and Kirby, 1978; Marquis et al., 2019). Piedmont populations in North Carolina appear to be double-brooded, while mountain populations appear to be single-brooded.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is strongly dependent for oaks as hosts for the larvae. Local populations occur in wooded residential neighborhoods as well as in a variety of mesic to drier forests with oaks. Populations are well represented in the Piedmont and lower mountains where oaks are important components of hardwood forests.
Larval Host Plants: Oaks are the primary hosts, although there is one record of larvae using Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) in Canada (Robinson et al. 2010). Oak hosts (Marquis et al., 2019) include White Oak (Quercus alba), Scarlet Oak (Q. coccinea), Shingle Oak (Q. imbricaria), Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra), Post Oak (Q. stellata) and Black Oak (Q. velutina).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to UV lights; larvae need to be reared to distinguish them from A. leucillana.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S4S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be relatively common in the mountains and Piedmont where oaks are important components of hardwood forests.

 Photo Gallery for Antaeotricha schlaegeri - Schlaeger's Fruitworm Moth

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-10
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-20
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-05-17
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-17
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-14
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-13
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-10
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-08
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-04-30
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-28
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-04-19
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-04-19
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-17
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-04
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-26
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-09
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-09
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-19
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-19
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-02
Guilford Co.
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