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Genus Pseudotelphusa

Pseudotelphusa quercinigracella  - Pseudotelphusa quercinigracella Caterpillar - Pseudotelphusa Pseudotelphusa quercinigracella Lake Crabtree surface feeder on Quercus stellata D1019A 2018 3 - Pseudotelphusa fuscopunctella Pseudotelphusa sp. - Pseudotelphusa Gelechiid ex Quercus ilicifolia - Pseudotelphusa - female Scarlet oak leaftier - Pseudotelphusa landryi Moth ID Request:  Pseudotelphusa palliderosacella, P. basifasciella or Pseudotelphusa? - Pseudotelphusa
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Gelechioidea (Twirler Moths and kin)
Family Gelechiidae (Twirler Moths)
Subfamily Gelechiinae
Tribe Litini
Genus Pseudotelphusa
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
formerly in tribe Gelechiini
8 species in North America listed at All-Leps
wingspan presumably 10-15 mm, based on photos of European species and larva length
mature larva length < 10 mm
Adult: forewing slender, white to brown with scattered black patches; hindwing whitish basally, shading to brown or gray distally, with very wide brown or gray fringe
eastern United States and southeastern Canada
also represented in Eurasia
deciduous woodlands
adults fly in late spring and summer
larvae in June and July
larvae feed on leaves of oak, and perhaps birch and serviceberry, judging from the specific epithets of two species: amelanchierella (Amelanchier=serviceberry) and betulella (Betula=birch)
Life Cycle
an undescribed species in Missouri lays eggs in spring on leaves of oak as soon as the leaves have fully opened; larvae tie two overlapping leaves together with spun silk, creating a shelter within which they feed, skeletonizing the inner surface of the tied leaves; larvae mature in about 2 weeks, then drop to the ground to pupate
By creating leaf-tie shelters early in the season, and then vacating them shortly afterward, larvae of an undescribed Pseudotelphusa species in Missouri make shelters available to various other insects, increasing the diversity of leaf-eating insects on oak trees during the summer (see PDF article in Print References below).
Print References
Lill, John T. and Robert J. Marquis. 2003. Ecosystem Engineering by Caterpillars Increases Insect Herbivore Diversity on White Oak. Ecology. 84(3): 682-690. - available online in PDF format
Internet References
pinned adult images of 5 species plus photos of related genera by SangMi Lee (Moth Photographers Group)
9 pinned adult images of P. quercinigracella, plus collection site map (All-Leps)
pinned adult image of P. basifasciella by SangMi Lee (Mississippi Entomological Museum, Mississippi State U.)
distribution in United States (Dalton State College, Georgia)
presence in Ontario of P. palliderosacella and P. quercinigracella (NHIC; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)