Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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View PDFTischeriidae Members: 9 NC Records

Coptotriche castaneaeella (Chambers, 1875) - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Tischerioidea Family: TischeriidaeP3 Number: 230026.00 MONA Number: 140.00
Comments: Coptotriche is a genus of specialized leafminers that currently consists of 28 recognized Nearctic species. Most species fall within one of two major groups. Members of the first group typically have orangish to yellowish fore wings (rarely white) and specialize on oaks and chestnuts, while members of the second group have dark gray, brown, or blackish fore wings and mostly feed on members of the Rosaceae (Braun, 1972; Eiseman, 2019).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Braun (1972)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Braun (1972)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is from Braun's (1972) description based on studies of 29 specimens from throughout the range of the species. The face varies from whitish ocherous to pale straw-colored. The scales of the vertex and crown vary from straw-colored to deep ocherous, and project forward as a bifurcated tuft (often not evident in worn specimens). The scape of the antenna is straw-colored or ocherous, and the shaft becomes fuscous towards the tip. The thorax is concolorous with the head. The forewing is somewhat shining and the base is concolorous with the head and thorax. The base varies from whitish to ocherous (sometimes pale lemon yellow) and gradually shades to orange yellow. The tips of the scales in the apex are microscopically brownish, but do not produce a dusted effect. Rarely, the wing of the male shades to a deep reddish brown color in the apex and along the outer half of the costal margin. The underside is brownish and lacks sex scales, and the surface is dusted. The hindwing is less than half the width of the forewing in both sexes except at the extreme base. It is pale gray, but can be darker in dark males. The cilia vary from gray to ocherous with a faint reddish tinge. A costal tuft of brown scales is present near the base. The legs are ocherous and shaded with dark brown outwardly. The abdomen is ocherous above, with a little dusting on several terminal segments in the male. The underside of the abdomen is densely dusted with brownish fuscous scales, which may spread laterally and densely dust the posterior half of the abdomen above. Braun (1972) noted that Coptotriche castaneaeella is best recognized using the distinctive leaf mines. The forewing of the adults are extremely variable and small males are indistinguishable from C. fuscomarginella. However, small specimens may be separated from C. fuscomarginella by the gray and somewhat wider hindwing of C. castaneaeella.
Wingspan: 7-10 mm (Braun, 1972).
Adult Structural Features: Braun (1972) provides keys for identifying males and females based on genitalia. Her verbatim description of the genitalia follows: vinculum with a very short anterior projection; harpe broad, setae moderately long; anellus a broad truncated cone, minutely spinulose in transverse rows, the spinules appearing as fine stippling; forks of aedeagus rounded apically, and toward apex bearing an oblique row of curved sharp teeth; forks of uncus long and acuminate, not widely separated. Female genitalia: ovipositor lobes much larger than lateral lobes, peg setae pointed and covering entire surface; lateral lobes with short pointed setae; posterior margin of sex opening strongly sclerotized; posterior apophyses very long and slender, scarcely enlarging at tips; segment 8 not reduced, arms of patibulum broad; prela moderate in size.
Immatures and Development: The leaf mine of this species is distinctive due to the presence of concentric crescents on the loosened upper epidermis. A larva initially produces a linear tract that gradually enlarging to produce a somewhat trumpet-shaped mine. This continues to broaden out towards the end of the feeding stage. The mine is normally gray, with the frass packed towards the beginning of the mine. The expanded portion of the mine is paler gray and the concentric markings are conspicuous. Pupation takes place in an elongate oval silken-lined chamber that is overlain by a finely wrinkled epidermis.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Coptotriche castaneaeella is widely distributed in eastern North America from southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec) and the northeastern US to as far south as Florida. Tracy Feldman has found leaf mines in Wake and Scotland Cos. (BugGuide) and we have two recent records 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)

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
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species utilizes oaks and American chestnut during the larval stage and is restricted to habitats with the host species. It presumably uses a variety of habitats with these species such as mixed pine-hardwood forests, hardwood forests, wooded roadside edges, urban landscapes, and early successional fields with oak saplings.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae of C. castaneaeella mine the leaves of oak species and American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) . The known oak hosts include Swamp White Oak (Q. bicolor), White Oak (Quercus alba), Sand Post Oak (Q. margaretiae), Chestnut Oak (Quercus montana), Blackjack Oak (Q. marilandica) , Willow Oak (Q. phellos), Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra), Scarlet Oak (Q. coccinea), and Black Oak (Q. velutina). As of 2021, we have records for American Chestnut, Northern Red Oak, and Sand Post Oak.
Observation Methods: Direct searches for the leaf mines with their distinctive concentric crescent marks is the best way to document local populations. Since C. castaneaeella appears to rarely visit lights -- and the adults can be confused with other Coptotriche species -- rearing of adults may be the best way to obtain reliably identified specimens.
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:
Comments:

 Photo Gallery for Coptotriche castaneaeella - No common name

Photos: 21

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-10-14
McDowell Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-10-14
McDowell Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-10-10
Buncombe Co.
Comment: Occupied mines were on Northern Red Oak.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-10-10
Buncombe Co.
Comment: A backlit image of an occupied mine on Northern Red Oak.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, John Petranka, Becky Elkin, Sally Gewalt on 2021-09-29
Durham Co.
Comment: An occupied mine on White Oak.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, John Petranka, Becky Elkin, Sally Gewalt on 2021-09-29
Durham Co.
Comment: A backlit image of an occupied mine on White Oak.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-18
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-18
Madison Co.
Comment: An American Chestnut with two or more mines that adjoin one another.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-18
Madison Co.
Comment: A backlit image of an American Chestnut leaf with multiple mines that adjoin one another.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-12
Madison Co.
Comment: An unoccupied mine on Northern Red Oak.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-12
Madison Co.
Comment: A backlit image of an unoccupied mine on Northern Red Oak.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-10
Transylvania Co.
Comment: Two unoccupied mines (partially fused) on American Chestnut.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-10
Transylvania Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-09-10
Transylvania Co.
Comment: A backlit view of two unoccupied mines (partially fused) on American Chestnut.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-23
Graham Co.
Comment: This unoccupied mine was on American Chestnut.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-23
Graham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-23
Graham Co.
Comment: Unoccupied mine was on American Chestnut.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-07-12
Wake Co.
Comment: A mine on Quercus rubra. The mine starts out narrow and gradually widens. Note the central frass trail.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2018-07-12
Wake Co.
Comment: A mine on Quercus rubra. The mine starts out narrow and gradually widens. Note the central frass trail.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-09-21
Scotland Co.
Comment: An unoccupied mine on Quercus margaretta. Note the gradually widening mine with frass near the center, and the concentric frass lines near the end of the mine.
Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-09-21
Scotland Co.
Comment: Unoccupied mine on Quercus margaretta--widening mine with frass near center.