Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFGracillariidae Members: 10 NC Records

Phyllonorycter basistrigella (Clemens, 1859) - No Common Name



view caption

view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: LithocolletinaeTribe: [Lithocolletini]P3 Number: 330270.00 MONA Number: 738.00
Comments: Phyllonorycter is a genus of small and often colorful moths, with 79 described species in North America. The larvae of most form underside tentiform mines on woody plants and pupate within the mines.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: BugGuide; MPG; iNaturalistTechnical Description, Adults: Braun, 1908.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based in part on that of Clemens (1859). The antenna and front of the head are silvery, and the tuft is fulvous with a mix of silvery scales. The thorax is pale reddish golden, with a white streak on each side and one in the middle. The ground color of the forewing is shining ocherous saffron. There is a slender, straight, and unmargined white basal streak in the central portion of the wing that extends from the base to about one-third to one-half of the wing length. A narrow white line runs along the costa from near the base of the wing posteriorly (often faint along the costa). The line deflects inward at about one-half where it approaches a matching dorsal line that also extends from near the base and deflects inward. Posterior to where the costal and dorsal lines converge, there are typically three short white costal streaks and two dorsal streaks. The three costal streaks are aligned roughly perpendicular to the costa and are typically edged with dark scales on the anterior side. The first two are opposed and paired with two similar dorsal streaks. The first at the tornus is relatively large and triangular-shaped, while the second is greatly reduced in size and sometimes missing. This species lack an apical spot, but typically has a region of dark scales near the apex that extends forward to the apical and dorsal streaks to varying degrees (sometimes represented as two large patches). The cilia are pale fulvous with a blackish marginal line. The hindwing is gray, with cilia that are gray with a fulvous hue.
Wingspan: 8 mm (Braun, 1908).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae mine the undersides of oak leaves. A larva typically produces an oblong to rectangular-shaped mine between two veins. The mine is smooth and unwrinkled, and the larva deposits frass along the edges of the mine. At the time of pupation, the frass is collected from the edges and made into an oval ring-like wall around the cocoon (Eiseman, 2019). The cuticle is transparent and the pupa is plainly visible through the epidermis (Braun, 1908; Eiseman, 2019).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Phyllonorycter basistrigella is widely distributed across Canada, the eastern US, and as far west as California. Populations in the western US may represent an undescribed species. In eastern North America, this species occurs in southern Canada and throughout much of the eastern US from the Great Lakes region eastward to Maine and southward to North Carolina. We have records from all three physiographic provinces in North Carolina.
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 at least two broods each year. As of 2020, our earliest seasonal records are from April along the coast, while other records are from July-Sept.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species specializes on oaks and exploits members of both the white oak and red oak group. Populations occur in a wide variety of urban and natural habitats that support the host species. Examples include urban neighborhoods and parks, wet to dry hardwood forests, and mixed hardwood-pine forests.
Larval Host Plants: Host species that occur in eastern North America (Eiseman, 2019) include White Oak (Q. alba), Swamp White Oak (Q. bicolor), Scarlet Oak (Q. coccinea), Shingle Oak (Q. imbricaria), Bur Oak (Q. macrocarpa), Swamp Chestnut Oak (Q. michauxii), Rock Chestnut Oak (Q. montana), Dwarf Chinquapin Oak (Q. prinoides), Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra), Post Oak (Q. stellata), and Black Oak (Q. velutina).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights and have been successfully reared from leaf mines with mature larvae or pupae.
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.
Comments: North Carolina appears to be at or near the southern limit of the range. We currently do not have sufficient information on the distribution and abundance of this species within the state as assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Phyllonorycter basistrigella - No common name

Photos: 10

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-20
Swain Co.
Comment: Adult was reared from Northern Red Oak; mine collected on July 9; adult emerged on 20 July, 2021.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-09
Swain Co.
Comment: An upper-surface view of an occupied mine on Northern Red Oak; adult emerged on 2021-07-20 (see companion photo).
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-09
Swain Co.
Comment: An lower-surface, occupied mine on Northern Red Oak; adult emerged on 2021-07-20 (see companion photo).
Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2020-06-23
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2020-05-24
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2020-04-13
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2020-04-13
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-01
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger on 2017-04-12
Gates Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2014-04-03
Wake Co.
Comment: