Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFHeliozelidae Members: 3 NC Records

Antispila cornifoliella Clemens, 1860 - No Common Name



view caption

view caption

view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Adeloidea Family: HeliozelidaeP3 Number: 210075.00 MONA Number: 232.00
Comments: Antispila is one of the largest genera within the Heliozelidae, and there are 12 described species in North America. A recent molecular analysis of the family revealed that the genus is polyphyletic with three genetically distinct groups that do not cluster together (Milla et al., 2018). About half of the currently recognized species will likely be assigned to other genera in the future.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG; BugGuideTechnical Description, Adults: Clemens (1860a)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Clemens (1860a)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description of the adults is based on Clemens (1860a) and LaFontaine (1973). The head, face, and labial palps are dark brown. The antenna is dark brown with a light tip and the basal joint is somewhat ochreous. The forewing has a rather dull dark brown ground color with a coppery hue. Near the base there is a rather narrow fascia that varies from silvery white to light golden. The fascia often broadens towards the inner margin, and is closer to the base on the inner margin compared to the costal end. The fascia is not constricted at the fold of the wing as in A. nysaefoliella. At the apical third of the wing is a small silvery white to golden costal spot that is roughly triangular in shape. Nearly opposite to this, and slightly more basal, is a matching larger or equal-sized triangular spot on the inner margin that usually extends half way or so across the wing. The cilia are dark gray. The hindwings is purplish brown and the cilia somewhat paler, with a coppery hue. The legs are brownish, with a slightly lighter hue than the forewings. Antispila cornifoliella is difficult to distinguish from several closely related species (e.g., A. isabella, A. freemani, A. nysaefoliella, A. viticordifoliella) based on photographic images. These species are best identified by using DNA markers, genitalia, or a combination of host plants and/or geographic ranges (Nieukerken et al. 2012). Antispila cornifoliella can be distinguished from A. nysaefoliella by the light antenna tip, the brown thorax, and the fascia that is not constricted at the cell. Many locality records for Antispila cornifoliella are based on leaf mine records. However, there are two species that specialize on dogwoods (A. cornifoliella and A. freemani), with conflicting views about the characteristics and placement of the leaf mines (Lafontaine, 1973; Eiseman, 2019). Based on DNA barcoding data, A. freemani appears to be a more northern form that is found primarily in Canada and the New England states, while A. cornifoliella is more widely distributed throughout the eastern US to as far south as Florida. Leaf mines observed in North Carolina are assignable to A. cornifoliella.
Adult Structural Features: LaFontaine (1973) reported that the phallobase of the males of this species is very narrow and inconspicuous. The comb is nearly square with 8-11 teeth. The spines at the apex of the aedeagus are much finer and less extensive than those of A. freemani and A. nyssaefoliella. Males of A. cornifoliella and A. freemani can be separated without dissection by examining the dense tuft of scales on the underside of the forewing near the base. On A. cornifoliella the tuft is dark brown, while on A. freemani it is bright yellow. The female genitalia resemble those of A. nyssaefoliella, but the spines on the anterior portion of the bursa copulatrix are very small and scattered (LaFontaine, 1973).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: According to Eiseman (2019), the full-surface mine begins with a long, narrow, linear portion, then eventually expands into a blotch. On dogwoods other than Cornus canadensis, the linear portion is sometimes highly contorted, and is often surrounded by red discoloration. It may follow the midrib or a vein for over 2 cm, then double back on itself before finally expanding into a blotch. At maturity, the larva cuts a characteristic oval hole out of the leaf and constructs a double-sided pupal case by encasing themselves with silk between the upper and lower mine layers. The pupal case has a prominent longitudinal ridge along the center and several “spokes” projecting from either end (Eiseman, 2019). The final-instar larva overwinters in the case, and pupation and adult emergence occur the following spring or early summer. The mature larva has a dark brown head and thoracic shield, and a nearly white abdomen. The abdomen has seven minute, black points along the dorsum, and eight on the ventral surface that are somewhat larger, and more distinct (Clemens (1860a).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Antispila cornifoliella is widespread throughout eastern North America. The range extends from southeastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia) and the New England states, to as far west as Kansas, and as far south as Florida. As of 2019, our records are from the Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont.
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: Populations appear to be univoltine in the Northeast and there is no conclusive evidence of a second generation in the south. Empty mines have been found as early as April in Florida and July in Kansas. Active mines can be found beginning in late August in the northeastern US (Eiseman, 2019). As of 2019, our records for empty mines are all from August, which suggest that the adults are on the wing beginning in July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Antispila cornifoliella appears to rely heavily on Flowering Dogwood in North Carolina. This species is common in a variety of hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood forests statewide. It is also widely planted as an ornamental in urban settings and along highways.
Larval Host Plants: The known hosts include a variety of Cornus species, including Alternate-leaf Dogwood (C. alternifolia), Silky Dogwood (C. amomum), Bunch-flower (C. canadensis), Flowering Dogwood (C. florida), Stiff Dogwood (C. foemina), Gray Dogwood (C. racemosa), and Redosier Dogwood (C. sericea ssp. sericea; Eiseman, 2019; Robinson et al., 2010). As of 2019, mines that were found in North Carolina were all on C. florida.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights, and many locality records are based on leaf mines. We recommend checking dogwoods in August for the mines with their distinctive excised oval holes.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: As of 2019, we have only a few records for the state. This likely reflects the fact that relatively little effort has been put forth to document leaf-mining moths in the region.

 Photo Gallery for Antispila cornifoliella - No common name

Photos: 8

Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-08-01
Wake Co.
Comment: A view of a Cornus florida leaf with a mine. The final instar larva cuts out an elliptical section of leaf and uses this to construct a pupal case. Note the hole where the leaf was excised.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-08-01
Wake Co.
Comment: A view of the lower side of a Cornus florida leaf with a mine. Larvae produce full-depth mines that are evident from both sides of the leaf (see companion photo from 2018-08-01).
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-08-28
Durham Co.
Comment: A full-surface mine on Cornus florida. The dark area within the mine is frass.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-08-28
Durham Co.
Comment: blotch/thick linear mine on Cornus florida.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-08-28
Durham Co.
Comment: A full-surface mine on Cornus florida. The dark area within the mine is frass.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-08-16
Scotland Co.
Comment: A view of a Cornus florida leaf with a mine. The final instar larva cuts out an elliptical section of leaf and uses this to construct a pupal case. Note the hole where the leaf was excised.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-08-16
Scotland Co.
Comment: A view of a Cornus florida leaf with a mine. The final instar larva cuts out an elliptical section of leaf and uses this to construct a pupal case. Note the hole where the leaf was excised.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-08-16
Scotland Co.
Comment: A view of a Cornus florida leaf with a mine. The final instar larva cuts out an elliptical section of leaf and uses this to construct a pupal case. Note the hole where the leaf was excised.