Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Lithocolletis curvilineatella, Bucculatrix pomonella.
Size: 4 mm long. Wingspan 7 to 7.5 mm.
Larvae 6 mm long.
Note: Western population wings are lighter colored with hardly any speckling on base half of wing.
Head: Head very pale yellow with some brown speckles. Hair tuft between antennae white with some brown in center.
Antenna: Base (scape) creamy white. Antenna with 56 to 62 segments in both sexes; pale yellowish-white with dark rings, except last 1/4 of antenna (about 14 segments) which are patterned: 1 white, 5 dark, 1 white, 3 dark, 4 white at tip. (segments not counted in original description, but called sections).
Thorax: Pale yellowish with tiny dark speckles, or sometimes densely dusted. No spots.
Forewing: Yellowish-white speckled with light brownish-yellow and brown marks which are lighter on male. A slightly darker median streak from base to mid wing. On the middle of inner margin is a large dark brown patch, more or less half of an oval shape with faint whitish border at each end and along wing edge; forming a large more or less oval patch when wings are closed. On outer (costa) margin opposite the oval is a dark, broken diagonal streak to lower (outer) angle at tip. Wing tip has dark spot; more visible on female. May have raised scales at base of oval on mid wing. Fringe blends with wing colors. Wing tip fringe has a series of curved black dots.
Hindwing: Pale yellowish-gray. Fringe same color.
Legs: Pale yellowish-white with some darker shading. Feet have dark rings.
Abdomen: Dark, underside pale yellowish-white. Female tip widens with white tuft. Male tip narrows with small tuft.
U.S.A.: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Missouri, Utah, Washington. Canada: British Columbia and Ontario.
Deciduous forests and orchards.
June to mid-July in the north, one generation; April to September in the south with 2 generations.
Preferred food is Apple Malus. Also others in Rosaceae family like Serviceberry Amelanchier, Black Cherry Prunus serotina, Hawthorn Crataegus and Ninebark Physocarpus.
Female lays eggs on underside of leaves near midrib. Larva mine leaf at first, then feed externally on upper side, leaving the lower or underside intact but translucent. Larva are dark yellowish-green, more reddish-brown around head; black short hairs. Over-winter in white, ribbed cocoons, usually attached to bark of twigs, leaves or even fruit. Cocoon color changes depending on tree or shrub used: Apple, whitish; Serviceberry and Ninebark, light brownish-yellow; Cherry, reddish-brown; Hawthorn, dark brown. There is one generation per year in the North and two in the South.
Holotype as Bucculatrix pomifoliella female by Clemens, 1860. #7510 and Clemens #107. Locality: Eastern Pennsylvania. In Academy of Natural Sciences (ANSP) of Philadelphia, Drexel University. Noted with ‘broken and missing head’.
Similar Species: Only two N.A. species have dark-light patterns on antenna, The Oak Skeletonizer B. ainsliella and the Apple Skeletonizer B. pomifoliella. B. ainsliella overall is more brown than yellowish; hair tuft between antenna bases has obvious wide dark streak; the last 1/3 of antenna patterned with more dark segments than B. pomifoliella, and thorax has dark spots.
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1860, Vol. 12, pg. 211 by Clemens.
Guide to the Study of Insects, 1869, by Packard.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1923, Memoir #68, pg. 158 by Forbes.
Memoirs of the American Entomological Society, 1963, Vol. 18, pg. 175, by Annette Braun.
U.S. Dept. Agriculture, Forest Services, 1972, Miscellaneous Publication #1175: Eastern Forest Insects by Baker, pp. 409 to 410.