Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 6 NC Records

Cameraria cincinnatiella (Chambers, 1871) - Gregarious Oak Leafminer Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeTribe: [Lithocolletini]P3 Number: 330352.00 MONA Number: 815.00
Comments: Cameraria is a genus of leaf-mining micromoths. Many species are stenophagous and specialize on a small number of closely related host species. There are currently more than 50 described species in North America.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1908.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is primarily based on Chambers' (1871) original description of the species. The face and palpi are silvery white, while the legs are silvery white with brownish spots and bands. The tuft is white centrally and golden on the sides. The antenna is silvery white beneath and golden brown above with narrower white rings. The thorax and forewing ground color is rusty to bright golden. The forewing has a short, white, median basal streak with dark dusting on the posterior side. The anterior margin and sides of the thorax are also often white and may touch or nearly touch the basal streak. There are two conspicuous fasciae at approximately the middle and basal third of the forewing that are white, strongly angulated posteriorly, and with a wide dark margin behind. The dark margin (dusting) is largely restricted to dorsal half of each fascia, and on the middle fascia extends away from the white portion towards the apex. A long, oblique, white dorsal streak also occurs near the base of the dorsal cilia, and has a conspicuous dark posterior margin (dusting) that continues towards the apex. There are one or two smaller white costal marks (often connected) that adjoin the region with dark dusting. The cilia is golden and has a dark brown line. Traits that are helpful for identifying this species include the dorsal median streak and white marks on the thorax that creates a circular pattern, the tuft that is white centrally and golden on the sides, the two conspicuous fasciae on the forewings, and the dark dusting on the middle fascia that extends away from the white portion towards the apex. This is one of numerous Cameraria that feed on oaks, but the larvae are distinctive in feeding gregariously within a single leaf mine.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: A female normally lays eggs along a leaf vein and the larvae feed communally within a single large blotch mine. As the mine develops, it becomes somewhat puckered and develops a whitish to yellowish brown color that is often interspersed with darker regions. A single mine may contain a few to as many as a dozen larvae, and large mines may nearly cover an entire oak leaf (Braun, 1908; Eiseman, 2019). Larvae in the final seasonal brood overwinter in fallen leaves on the ground. The adults emerge during the spring and females begin laying eggs shortly thereafter. There are two or more broods per year.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Cameraria cincinnatiella occurs through much of the eastern US and adjoining areas in southern Canada. Populations occur from the Great Lakes region and Ontario and Quebec eastward to Connecticut, and south and southwestward to Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Our records for North Carolina as of 2019 are from the Blue Ridge and 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: Local populations appear to have two or more broods per year. Adults are first active after the spring leaf-out and remain active through late summer or early fall.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Cameraria cincinnatiella is strongly affiliated with White Oak, which is common throughout the state in urban landscapes and in dry to mesic hardwood forests.
Larval Host Plants: White Oak (Quercus alba) is the primary host, but larvae have also been found on Swamp White Oak (Q. bicolor), Bur Oak (Q. macrocarpa), Chestnut Oak (Q. montana) and Post Oak (Q. stellata).
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally visit lights. Local populations are best documented by searching for the conspicuous upper-surface leaf mines on White Oak and rearing the adults. These typically contain three or more larvae or pupae per mine, which is helpful in distinguishing this species from other Cameraria that use White Oak and have a single larva per mine.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
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 Cameraria cincinnatiella - Gregarious Oak Leafminer Moth

Photos: 8

Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2020-06-23
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-09-05
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-09-05
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman and Charley Eiseman on 2015-06-06
Durham Co.
Comment: Upper surface mines on Quercus alba.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman and Charley Eiseman on 2015-06-06
Durham Co.
Comment: A view of the lower leaf surface of Quercus alba.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman and Charley Eiseman on 2015-06-06
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2014-05-06
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2012-07-02
Wake Co.
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