Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes



Species Bucculatrix ainsliella - Oak Skeletonizer Moth - Hodges#0572

Bucculatrix 1487 - Bucculatrix ainsliella Oak Skeletonizer Moth - Bucculatrix ainsliella Oak Skeletonizer Moth - Bucculatrix ainsliella A Micro Moth - Bucculatrix ainsliella A Micro Moth - Bucculatrix ainsliella Oak Skeletonizer? - Bucculatrix ainsliella Bucculatrix - Bucculatrix ainsliella  Oak Skeletonizer Moth - Bucculatrix ainsliella
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Gracillarioidea (Ribbed Cocoon-maker and Leaf Blotch Miner Moths)
Family Bucculatricidae (Ribbed Cocoon-maker Moths)
Genus Bucculatrix
No Taxon (Section IV (oak and birch family leafminers))
Species ainsliella (Oak Skeletonizer Moth - Hodges#0572)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Bucculatrix ainsliella Murtfeldt, 1905
Phylogenetic sequence #016675
Explanation of Names
"I have great pleasure in naming this pretty species after Mr. Charles N. Ainslie, of Rochester, Minnesota, from whom I received the cocoons early in the winter." by Mary Murtfeldt.
Wingspan 7-8 mm. (1)
4 to 5 mm. long
Larva 7 mm. long
Description. (2)

Head: Creamy white. Hair tuft between antenna creamy white with a distinct wide reddish-brown stripe in center.
Antenna: Base (scape) pale yellowish. Antenna with 56 – 62 segments in both sexes; grayish-white with dark brown rings, except last 1/3 of antenna length (23 segments) which are patterned: 3 dark, 1 white, 5 dark, 1 white, 1 dark, 1 white, 5 dark, 1 white, 1 dark and 4 white.
Thorax: Creamy white, dusted with dark scales; lower border with two ill-defined brown streaks or spots.
Forewings: Dark brown with purplish sheen to light golden brown more so on males. At mid wing on lower (inner) margin half a dark purplish oval, with a white border at each end, forming an oval when wings are closed. Heavily speckled creamy white area at wing base, along lower (inner) margin. Creamy white patch with dark speckles on last 1/3 of costa widens, leaving only a dark stripe at lower (outer) angle. Scale tufts may be visible at base of wing, base of mid wing oval and near wing tip. Fringe blends with colors of wing. Wing tip fringe has series of curved black dots.
Hindwings: Silver-gray. Fringe slightly darker.
Legs: Front and middle legs dark with creamy white rings on shins (tibiae) and feet, underside of legs creamy white. Hind leg creamy white. Shin has some longer slightly darker hairs and a spur. Feet have dark rings.
Abdomen: Shiny gray, underside white. Female tip widens with white tuft. Male tip narrows with small tuft.
Widespread across southern Canada including British Columbia (introduced in 1999) and northerneastern United States south to Mississippi. (1), (3)
Moth Photographers Group - large map with some collection locations and dates.
Deciduous forests and areas which have oaks.
Adults are most common in late May, again in late July through August.
Larval host is Quercus (oak) (1)
Life Cycle
Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves, close to mid rib. The greenish-yellow larvae feed internally, later instars feed on the underside outer leaf surface, leaving the top surface of leaf intact. Larva pupate in a silken cocoon on almost any surface – underside of leaves, in loose bark on the tree, or at ground level on grass blades, moss, etc. Two generations per year, overwintering in cocoons.
Overwinters in pupal state. (1)
Holotype as Bucculatrix ainsliella male by Murtfeldt, 1905. #65035. Locality: Olmstead, Minnesota. In the United States National Museum, Smithsonian. Cocoons, on/near black oak Quercus velutina, C.N. Ainslie. No photos.
See Also
Similar Species: Only two N.A. species have light-dark patterns on antenna, the Oak Skeletonizer B. ainsliella and the Apple Skeletonizer B. pomifoliella. B. pomifoliella overall is more yellowish; hair tuft between antenna bases at most with only some brown hairs; the last 1/4 of antenna patterned with fewer dark segments and thorax without any dark spots.
Print References
Braun, A, 1963. The genus Bucculatrix in America north of Mexico (Microlepidoptera) Memoirs of the American Entomological Society. No. 18. p. 167.(1)
Van Nieukerken, E. J., et al. 2012. Bucculatrix ainsliella Murtfeldt, a new North American invader already widespread on northern red oaks (Quercus rubra) in Western Europe (Bucculatricidae). Nota lepid. 35(2): 135–159. (2)
Internet References
The Canadian Entomologist, 1905, Vol. 37, pp. 218 to 219 by Mary Murtfeldt.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1921, Memoir #68 by Forbes, pg. 159.
Journal of Economic Entomology, 1961, Vol. 54, pp. 681-684 by Gibbons and Butcher (larva).
Memoirs of the American Entomological Society, 1963, Vol. 18, pp. 167 to 169 by Annette Braun.
Nota Lepidoptera, 2012, Vol. 35, #2: Bucculatrix ainsliella, a New North American Invader Red Oaks in W. Europe by Van Nieukerken, pp. 138 to 144.
Works Cited
1.The genus Bucculatrix in America north of Mexico (Microlepidoptera)
Annette F. Braun. 1963. American Entomological Society 18: 1-208.
2.Bucculatrix ainsliella Murtfeldt, a new North American invader already widespread on northern red .....
E.J. van Nieukerken, C. Doorenweerd, W.N. Ellis, K.J. Huisman, J.C. Koster, W. Mey, T.S.T. Muus, A. Schreurs. 2012. Nota Lepid. 35(2): 135–159.
3.North American Moth Photographers Group