Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Xylesthia pruniramiella Clemens, 1859
Xylesthia congeminatella, Xylesthia kearfottella
8 mm long. Wingspan 12 to 18 mm.
Clemens (1859) listed the wingspan 6-6.5 lines (12.7-13.7 mm.).
Clemens (1859) original description is online and linked in the print references.
"Antennae yellowish white. Palpi and head hoary. Thorax hoary, dusted with brownish. Abdomen dark brown. Fore wings blackish brown and luteous brown, somewhat varied with whitish, with patches of elevated scales at the base and along the fold; with an indistinct whitish band crossing the middle of the disc, one nearer the base still fainter and one about the end of the disc, with a white dorsal spot at the inner angle and a whitish streak from the costa above it, with another whitish costal streak between this and the tip; a blackish spot at the tip white margined before; cilia brownish, white at the dorsal spot. The luteo brownish hue usually prevails toward the tip of the wing and sometimes the whitish markings are indistinct. Hind wings dark brown, somewhat tinged with reddish, cilia the same."
Head: Snow white, hairy (rough scaled). Palpi white, underside speckled with brown, rough scaled.
Antenna: About 2/3 as long as wing length. Base (scape) wide, dark. Segments yellowish-white, thicker on male.
Thorax: Thorax white, mixed with brown. Dark brown on each shoulder.
Wings: Forewings blackish-brown and brown with slightly raised whitish lines and stripes running through wings, both longitudinally and transversely; appears slightly checkered. About 4 sets of tufts (elevated scales) along inner margin (i.e. down middle of moth). Fringe white at anal angle, rest brown. Hindwings and fringe dark brown.
Legs: Brown, segment tips white. Underside of legs white.
Abdomen: Dark brown, ringed with white; paler on underside.
Entire U.S. and Ontario.
Heppner (2003) reported the range to include New Hampshire to Florida, Illinois to Texas. (2)
Moth Photographers Group
– distribution & flight-period chart
Found on fruit farms and in forests.
On Block Island
, RI, adults are most abundant in July, but with records from late June to late September.(3)
Heppner (2003) reported February to December. (2)
Clemens (1859) stated the larva "feeds on the woody excrescences found on the branches of the plum tree."
Leucostoma species of cankers (type of fungus) found on fruit trees like plum and on dead Black and Honey Locust trees.
The local distribution of the species on Block Island
, RI, strongly suggests bayberry is a suitable host.(3)
Larvae about 11 mm long (not mature) over-winter inside cankers. Mature larva 22 mm long, dirty white with brown head and shield, move to surface of canker in late spring to pupate in a silk cocoon mixed with frass.
Syntype as Xylesthia clemensella (3 males, 3 females, 2 unknown), by Chambers, 1873. MCZ#1384. Locality: Kentucky. In Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Half of the types badly damaged with abdomens missing.
Syntypes (3 males) in United States National Museum, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
Syntypes as Xylesthia kearfottella male & female by Dietz, 1905. Locality: Montclair, New Jersey male collected by Kearfott; and Washington County, Pennsylvania, mutilated female specimen collected by Henry Klages. In 1974, the Horn collection, along with Wm. Dietz’ collection was traded by the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia (Drexel University) to the Museum of Comparative Zoology, but no record of this types.
Clemens, B., 1859. Contributions to American Lepidopterology. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1859, Vol. 11, pg. 259 by Clemens.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1873, Vol. 5, pg. 174 by Chambers.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1877, Vol. 9, pg. 208 by Chambers.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 1901-03, Vol. 5, pg. 181: Notes on Brackenridge Clemens’ Types of Tineina by August Busck.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1905, Vol. 31, pg. 28 by Dietz.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1906, Vol. 38, pp. 347 to 348: On Dr. Wm. Dietz’s Revision of the Tineidae by August Busck.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1922, Vol. 54, pg. 184: Trap-lantern record at Ithaca, New York (Lepidoptera) by Forbes.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1923, Memoir #68, pg. 139 by Forbes.
Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 1989-92, Vol. 152, pg. 51 by Miller & Hodges.