Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGracillariidae Members: 37 NC Records

Neurobathra strigifinitella (Clemens, 1860) - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeTribe: [Gracillariini]P3 Number: 330187.00 MONA Number: 663.00
Comments: Neurobathra is a small genus of leaf-mining moths with only three described species in North America. Of these, N. strigifinitella is the only species that occurs in North Carolina.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Heinrich and DeGryse, 1915; Forbes, 1923Technical Description, Immature Stages: Heinrich and DeGryse, 1915                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is primarily based on Heinrich and DeGryse (1915) and Forbes (1923). The palps are smoothly scaled and are yellowish white with brown barring. The maxillary palps are very small and less than a fifth as long as the upturned labial palps. The head and antenna are dull brown, and the antenna slightly exceeds the length of the body. The forewing is long and narrow and has complex patterning. The ground color varies from light brown to grayish brown and is striated obliquely from both margins with white striae that are edged with black. These tend to alternate with heavier solid black streaks or blotches. The three or four white streaks that originate from the dorsal margin are generally larger and more prominent that those from the costal margin. There is a conspicuous dark eyespot near the apex. Adjoining this dorsally, there is a short, fine, white longitudinal streak that in turn adjoins a prominent dark bar in the cilia. Beyond this, a thinner dark line is usually evident in the cilia. The hindwing is brownish gray, and the legs show varying levels of white and blackish banding. Despite the complex patterning, this species is easy to identify given its elongated, narrow wings, long antennae, recurved palps, apical eyespot, and the dark bar in the cilia.
Wingspan: 8 mm (Forbes, 1923).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The eggs are laid singly on the lower leaf surface, usually near the base and between the lateral veins. The hatchling first makes a short, irregular, linear mine just beneath the lower epidermis. After the second molt, it bores into and mines a lateral vein. The fourth and later instars bore in the midrib. The mature larva emerges from the upper side of the midrib, typically near the tip of the leaf (Heinrich and DeGryse, 1915; Eiseman, 2019). If the midrib does not provide enough food to complete development, the larva will mine an irregular blotch adjacent to the midrib at the tip of the leaf. When finished feeding, the larva drops down on a strand of silk and spins a cocoon, usually on the underside of a leaf near the edge or against a major vein. The elliptical cocoon is transparent, white, and flat, and is decorated with 4–10 small, pearl-like globules (Heinrich and DeGryse, 1915; Eiseman, 2019). Most leaves have only one or two mines, but as many as four have been found on a single leaf.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Neurobathra strigifinitella is found in eastern North America, including Ontario, Quebec, and much of the eastern US. Populations are common and widespread east of the Mississippi River, with only a few scattered populations in Oklahoma and Texas. This species occurs statewide in North Carolina, but populations appear to be more common in the mountains and Piedmont where deciduous forests predominate.
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: Many local populations are multivoltine. The adults are most active between May and September, with each brood requiring about a month to complete (Heinrich and DeGryse, 1915). Populations in the mountains appear to have a more restricted breeding season relative to those farther east. The adults of the final brood overwinter and are sometimes active during the late winter in warm climates. As of 2020, we have records from February through October.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations are associated with deciduous forests or urban landscapes with chestnuts, oaks, and beech. American Chestnut appeared to be an important host species prior to its decline (Heinrich and DeGryse, 1915). Populations today rely more on oaks as hosts.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on members of the Fagaceae, including American Beech (Fagus grandifolia), American Chestnut (Castanea dentata), Chinkapin (C. pumila), and several species of oaks (Robinson et al., 2008). As of 2020, the documented hosts in North Carolina are all oaks, include Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) in the mountains, and Southern Red Oak (Q. falcata), Water Oak (Quercus nigra), Willow Oak (Q. phellos), Black Oak (Q. velutina) and Live Oak (Q. virginiana) farther east.
Observation Methods: The adults regularly visit lights and the leaf mines are often common on oaks and other hosts.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S4-S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is seemingly common and widespread across much of the state where oaks and other hosts are present.

 Photo Gallery for Neurobathra strigifinitella - No common name

Photos: 30

Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-10
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-07-04
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: jim Petranka on 2021-05-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-11
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-08
Madison Co.
Comment: A view of a backlit leaf of a fresh Northern Red Oak with a mine. The larva initially mines a lateral vein (upper vein as seen here), then the mid-vein. Note the frass in the mid-vein where the larvae mined. In some cases the late instar larva may leave the mid-vein and create a blotch mine near the leaf tip as seen here.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-08
Madison Co.
Comment: A view of the upper surface of a fresh Northern Red Oak with a mine. See the companion photo of the backlit specimen for details.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-08
Madison Co.
Comment: A view of the lower surface of a fresh Northern Red Oak with a mine. See the companion photo of the backlit specimen for details.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2020-05-24
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-04-11
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-14
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-02-25
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-10-26
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-10-05
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-09-27
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-31
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2017-09-20
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2017-07-31
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2015-08-10
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger, P. Scharf on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: J. Merrill Lynch on 2015-05-13
Watauga Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2015-05-05
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2014-08-18
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf on 2014-06-09
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2014-05-27
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2013-08-10
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2011-07-11
Wake Co.
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