I finally found it

 

Ancylis albacostana that is. This was the moth species I believed I had found twice before but was wrong each time being thrown by the white wing margins. This time it is the real deal and was confirmed at Bug Guide last night. The first “discovery” was made several weeks ago after going through photos from last summer. The second was in late April after seeing another moth with a white stripe along its wing edge. It later turned out that these were two different species. The first one turned out to be Capis curvata and the second Acleris celiana. I’ve added photos of Capis curvata and Acleris celiana for comparison with this new moth so that the differences and similarities can be seen.

This moth, which I found on Monday night, fits Kearfott’s description of Ancylis albacostana very well: “Fore wing lead color, rather heavily overlaid on inner two-thirds below the costa [main vein along leading edge of wing] with brownish and blackish scales. From the base to the apex on the costa is a pure white band, widest at end of cell, where it is nearly a quarter the width of wing; continuing to base with only a trifle less width, and lower edge curving evenly into costa and ending in a point at apex.”

Heinrich (1923) says of Ancylis albacostana: “A striking species at once to be recognized by the shining white unmarked costa of fore wing.”

Taxonomy
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Family Tortriciodae (Tortricid Moths)
Family Tortricidae
Subfamily Olethreutinae
Tribe Enarmoniini
Genus/species Ancylis albacostana

Acleris celiana is also in the Superfamily Tortricidae, Family Tortricidae but separated to the Subfamily Tortricinae and Capis curvata is in the Superfamily Noctuoidea and Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths).

Range
A. albacostana is known from a few locations in nine states Indiana, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina) and three Canadian provinces (New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario). In the Alberta Lepidopterists Guild 2011 spring newsletter there is a tentative report of A. albacostana from Medicine Hat, Alberta collected in 2009. The same report also mentions A. albacostana from Minnesota and Manitoba. Tortricid.net notes it was found in Manitoba in 1905 and that the specimen, which is shown on the web page, is housed in the U.S. National Entomological Collection a part of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

The Minnesota occurrence of Aalbacostana is referenced by Miller (1987) in Guide to the Olethreutine Moths of Midland North American Moths (Tortricidae) in the description of A. albacostana on page 82: “Forewing 7.5 to 8.5 mm long, dark areas grayish brown or brownish black. Adults captured May 29-June 30. Ml, MN.” It does not seem that a year for the collections is given in the paper.

Larval Host Plants
Caterpillars of A. albacostana feed on leaves of maple (Acer spp.).

 

SOURCES
Ancylis albacostana – White-edged Ancylis Moth – Kearfott, 1905 at Moth Photographers Group.

Ancylis albacostana Kearfott 1905 at Tortricid.net

Alberta Lepidopterists’ Guild Newsletter – Spring 2011 on page 15.

Beadle, D. and Leckie, S. (2012). Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Boston. 640 pages.

Kearfott, W. D. (1905). Descriptions of New Species of Tortricid Moths From North Carolina, With Notes. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, Vol. 28: 319-364. Description of Ancylis albacostana on page 360.

Grehan, J. R., B. L. Parker, G. R. Nielsen, D. H. Miller, J. D. Hedbor, M. S. Sabourin, and M. S. Griggs. (1995). Moths and Butterflies of Vermont (Lepoidoptera): A Faunal Checklist. A joint Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station and State of Vermont publication. Misc. Publication 1167, VMC Bulletin 1. 86 pages. Vermont occurrence of Ancylis albacostana on page 16.

Heinrich, C. (1923). Revision of the North American moths of the subfamily Eucosminae of the family Olethreutidae. United States National Museum Bulletin. 123:1-298. Description of Ancylis albacostana on page 253.

Miller, W. E. (1987). Guide to the Olethreutine Moths of Midland North America (Tortricidae). United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 660. 110 pages. Description of Ancylis albacostana on page 82.

Species Ancylis albacosta – White-edged Ancylis Moth – Hodges#3387 at Bug Guide.

Species Acleris celiana – Hodges#3533 at Bug Guide

Species Capis curvata – Curved Halter Moth – Hodges#9059 at Bug Guide.

Acleris celiana?

Acleris celiana moth
Acleris celiana

 

These tiny Tortricid moths with white stripes along their wing margins are really confusing me. On Monday I wrote about a moth that didn’t seem to be a close fit with the description for the species Ancylis albacostana which I thought it might be. It was by accident I figured it out. The moth is Acleris celiana and not an Ancylis at all. I was out on my porch Monday night sipping espresso and taking photos of little moths, caddisflies, and some sort of wasp (a species of Ophion I think) when this same kind of moth flew in. I got one shot before it took off and had to wait awhile before it came back and I could get more shots. Later, while going through photos on the Moth Photographers Group (MPG) trying to figure out another species I came across this which looks a lot like the moth I had just found. I have posted the images on Bug Guide and BAMONA and am awaiting comments on the species identity. (Update on 05-29-18: Bug Guide says it is Acleris celiana not Ancylis albacostana.)

Coleman first described Acleris celiana in 1869 under the name Teras celiana. “Anterior wings rich dark chocolate-brown slightly mottled with dark gray. There is a tuft of pale ochreous scales on the center of the disk, and beyond, in the apical portion of the wing a few scattered similarly colored raised scales. Fringes gray.” There is no mention of the white band. However, both Bug Guide and MPG show specimens of Acleris celiana with and without white bands.

Kearfott’s description of Ancylis albacosana reads “Fore wing lead color, rather heavily overlaid on inner two-thirds below the costa (main vein along leading edge of wing) with brownish and blackish scales. From the base to the apex on the costa is a pure white band, widest at end of cell, where it is nearly a quarter the width of wing; continuing to base with only a trifle less width, and lower edge curving evenly into costa and ending in a point at apex.”

I’m leaning strongly towards Acleris celiana on this one. Finding Ancylis albacostana would be great but the species is not, as far as I know, documented from Minnesota although there is at least one record from adjacent Wisconsin.

As for the rest of Monday night’s mothing, I found three more moth species and got a very clean shot of the caddisfly Glyphopsyche irrorata. Two of the moths are in Agonopterix (possibly A. canadensis and A. clemensella) and one is another Acleris (possibly Acleris forbesana). And now it is 10:10 PM Tuesday night and I’m staying up late looking for more moths. So far I have two new ones to figure out.

 

 

SOURCES

Kearfott, William Dunham (1905). Descriptions of New Species of Tortricid Moths From North Carolina, With Notes. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, Vol. 28: 319-364. Description on page 360.

Robinson, Coleman, T. (1869). Notes on American Tortricidae. Transaction of the American Entomological Society (1867-1877). Vol. 2 (1868/1869):261-288. Description on page 283-284.

Genus Ophion – Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasps at Bug Guide.

Species Acleris celiana – Hodges#3533 at Bug Guide.

620033.00 – 3533 – Acleris celiana – (Robinson, 1869) at Moth Photographers Group.