Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 25 NC Records

Caloptilia blandella (Clemens, 1864) - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeTribe: [Gracillariini]P3 Number: 330118.00 MONA Number: 596.00
Comments: Caloptilia is a large genus with nearly 300 described species; 64 species have been described from North America north of Mexico. The larvae mostly feed on woody plants and begin as leaf-mining sap-feeders. The latter instars usually exit the mines and feed within a conical roll that begins at the leaf apex or at the tip of a leaf lobe.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Immature Stages: Microleps.org (Harrison, 2017)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This species is easily identified by its bold yellow and dark purplish patterning. The forewing ground color is yellow. The dorsal margin of the forewing has a dark purplish edge that extends from the base to the wing tip, and widens about a third of the way before the tip. About a third of the way from the base, a broad dark purplish diagonal band extends from the dorsal edge to the costa. A series of fine dark spots are usually evident along the yellow portion of the costal margin. The tibia and femur of the front and middle leg are dark purple, while the tarsi are white with fine dark markings near the tarsal joints. The rear leg varies from whitish to rather dusky, with dark marking near the tarsal joints.
Forewing Length: Total length = 7 mm (Beadle and Leckie, 2012)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: A larva initially produces a narrow, crooked epidermal mine on the upper leaf surface that eventually widens at the terminal end (Eiseman, 2019). After molting, the maturing larva abandons the mine and moves to the lower leaf surface where it folds the edge of the leaf downward to produce a feeding shelter. This species does not construct the rolled conical shelters that are typical of many Caloptilia. It instead makes a single fold of the walnut leaflet that is often on the margin of the leaflet, rather than at the apex (Harrison, 2017). Eiseman (2019) noted that in captivity, larvae may either pupate within the shelter or evacuate the shelter and pupate under a sheet of silk.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This species occurs through much of the eastern US and extreme southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec) where Black Walnut is present. In North Carolina, most records are from the Blue Ridge and Piedmont where Black Walnut is most abundant. One Coastal Plain record comes from the Tidewater where walnuts are unlikely to occur.
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: Adults are active in North Carolina from late-May through mid-August, with a peak in June and July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Almost all records come from sites that are in or near alluvial forests or the bases of mountain slopes. One Coastal Plain record comes from the Tidewater where walnuts are unlikely to occur.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae appear to be monophagous feeders on Black Walnut (Harrison, 2017; Robinson et al., 2010). Chambers (1878a) reported mines on Mockernut Hickory (Carya tomentosa) that resemble the ones made by C. blandella on Black Walnut, but no one has subsequently reared C. blandella from hickories (Eiseman, 2019).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to both outdoor building lights and UV lights. The simple folded-leaf shelters resemble those of many leaf-folding tortricids (Harrison, 2017), so larvae in shelters should be reared to adults to verify their identity.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S3S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
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 Photo Gallery for Caloptilia blandella - No common name

Photos: 26

Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-25
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-27
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-08-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn on 2020-07-29
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-07-11
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-06-29
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2020-06-20
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-16
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-07-06
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn on 2018-07-25
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Robert Gilson on 2016-07-30
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2015-08-03
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2015-06-21
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn on 2014-06-18
Avery Co.
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