Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFGracillariidae Members: 8 NC Records

Povolnya quercinigrella (Ely, 1915) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gracillarioidea Family: GracillariidaeSubfamily: GracillariinaeTribe: [Gracillariini]P3 Number: 330170.00 MONA Number: 627.00
Comments: There are only seven known species in this genus, but they are widely distributed in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Species Status: De Prins and De Prins (2005) transferred this species from Caloptilia to Povolnya.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONA, iNaturalistTechnical Description, Adults: (Ely, 1915)Technical Description, Immature Stages: (Ely, 1915)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The thorax and forewings have a white ground color that is overlaid with ashy gray to light reddish brown coloration. The basal fourth of the wing is dark gray to reddish brown, and abuts a conspicuous, wide, pale gray fascia which extends obliquely across the wing posteriorly. The pattern beyond the large fascia is indistinct, but several smaller, whitish fasciae or blotches are often evident toward the tip of the wing. The cilia are light colored with two lines about the apex. The face is pale gray, and the crown of the head appears somewhat roughened with tufts above the eyes. The labial palps are white with a few dark scales toward the tips of the joints, and the second joint of the labial palpi has a distinct tuft. The antennae are pale yellow gray with brown annulations. The tibia and femur of the front and middle leg are reddish brown, and the tarsi are white with rusty brown annulations at the tips of the segments. The rear leg is yellowish to light tan.
Wingspan: 10 mm (Ely, 1915)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The leaf mine begins as a narrow, epidermal track on the lower surface, then eventually widens into an oval full-depth blotch that is usually formed at the leaf margin (Eiseman, 2019). The epidermis often tears due to the mine being formed when the leaf is still expanding. After exiting the mine, the larva feeds in a leaf cone made by bending down a single lobe and tying its edges to the underside of the leaf (Eiseman, 2019). In addition to skeletonizing the inside of the cone, the larva eats a row of small holes in the leaf along the outer margin of the cone. In some cases the leaf is skeletonized well beyond the cone.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Povolnya quercinigrella occurs throughout much of eastern North America from southern Ontario and Maine southward to Florida, and westward to Texas and Illinois. As of 2019, our records in North Carolina are from the lower mountains 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
Flight Comments: In North Carolina, adults are active during March and April.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species appears to use a variety of forested habitats that support oaks, including habitats that range from moist, alluvial floodplains to dry, upland forests.
Larval Host Plants: Povolnya quercinigrella specializes on oaks and was originally described from adults that were reared on Water Oak (Quercus nigra). Eiseman (2019) found mines of this species on other oaks, including Bear Oak (Quercus ilicifolia), White Oak (Q. alba), Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra), Post Oak (Q. stellata), and Black Oak (Q. velutina).
Observation Methods: Adults are attracted to UV lights, and larvae can be obtained from leaf mines on oaks.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S3S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Povolnya quercinigrella - No common name

Photos: 8

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-21
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-07
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-04-16
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-09
Madison Co.
Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2016-03-12
Durham Co.
Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2015-03-31
Durham Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2014-04-05
Warren Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2014-04-05
Warren Co.