Phyllonorycter mariaeella (Chambers, 1875)

Eiseman, Charles S. & Davis, Donald R., 2020, Wrong side of the leaf: assigning some Lithocolletinae species (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) to their proper genera, Zootaxa 4751 (2), pp. 201-237: 224-229

publication ID

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Phyllonorycter mariaeella (Chambers, 1875)


Phyllonorycter mariaeella (Chambers, 1875)  ( Figs. 53–67View FIGURES 53–55View FIGURES 56–59View FIGURES 60–63View FIGURES 64–66View FIGURE 67)

L.[ithocolletis] Mariaeella Chambers 1875c: 99

L.[ithocolletis] Affinis Frey & Boll 1876: 222; new synonymy

Cameraria affinis Davis 1983: 10 

Phyllonorycter affinis Maier & Davis 1989: 9 

Leaf mine. The larva forms an underside tentiform mine in which the frass is collected in a loose mass toward one end, pupating in a flat, oblong, translucent white cocoon. The pupa may be thrust through either the upper or the lower epidermis when the adult emerges ( Figs. 53–55View FIGURES 53–55, 62View FIGURES 60–63).

Generic placement. Braun (1908) correctly included Lithocolletis affinis  in her Group I, but Davis (1983) placed it in Cameraria  and others have followed suit ( Covell 1999; Pohl et al. 2018; De Prins & De Prins 2019), with the exception of Maier & Davis (1989) who listed it as Phyllonorycter affinis  without comment. The leaf mine ( Figs. 53–55View FIGURES 53–55, 62View FIGURES 60–63) is clearly consistent with Phyllonorycter  and not Cameraria  ; adult characters are also unambiguous, including the proximally dark-margined white forewing markings ( Figs. 56View FIGURES 56–59, 63–67View FIGURES 60–63View FIGURES 64–66View FIGURE 67) and the absence of setae on the tegumen ( Fig. 57View FIGURES 56–59).

Hosts. Caprifoliaceae  : Lonicera  sp., L. ×bella Zabel, L. japonica Thunb.  , L. maackii (Rupr.) Maxim.  , L. reticulata Raf.  , L. sempervirens  L., L. tatarica  L., Symphoricarpos  sp., S. orbiculatus Moench  , Triosteum  sp., T. angustifolium  L.

Distribution. Canada: NS, ON, QC; USA: CT, IL, KY, MI, MO, NC, NY, TX, UT.

Review. Chambers (1875c) described Lithocolletis mariaeella  from three specimens reared by M.E. Murtfeldt from underside tentiform mines on “ Symphoricarpus vulgaris  ” (= S. orbiculatus  ) in Kirkwood, Missouri. Nothing further has been published about the biology of this species, but it has been reported from Michigan ( Nielsen 1998) and Ontario ( Pohl et al. 2018).

Frey & Boll (1876) described Lithocolletis affinis  from “a Lonicera  with red fruits” in Texas. Frey & Boll (1878) recorded Lonicera albida  (= L. ×bella) and Symphoricarpos  as hosts. Braun (1925b) recorded this species from Symphoricarpos  in Utah; Maier & Davis (1989) from S. orbiculatus  in Connecticut; Covell (1999) from Triosteum angustifolium  in Kentucky; and Handfield (2002) from Lonicera  sp. in Quebec.

Braun (1908) distinguished affinis  and mariaeella  on the basis of the forewing fasciae being “nearly straight” in the former and “distinctly bent outward near the middle” in the latter. The type material of mariaeella  is lost, but at the CMCZ are three specimens matching Chambers’ description, collected by M.E. Murtfeldt at the type locality after the species was described. One is labeled “Symphoracarpus + 3/26 98” ( Fig. 64View FIGURES 64–66); the other two are mounted together and labeled “On honeysuckle [6?]/29.99” ( Figs. 65–66View FIGURES 64–66). One of the latter two is a male with its abdomen intact ( Fig. 66View FIGURES 64–66); the others are missing their abdomens. T. Harrison (in litt.) has reared a series of specimens in Illinois from Lonicera maackii  , L. prolifera  [= reticulata  ], and Triosteum  sp., with wing patterns showing a range of variation—some matching the Murtfeldt material and some matching the affinis  type material in the BMNH ( Fig. 67View FIGURE 67). Male and female genitalia are consistent among all of T. Harrison’s specimens (and with Figs. 57–61View FIGURES 56–59View FIGURES 60–63), and match the genitalia of a dissected male syntype of affinis  . We therefore consider affinis  a synonym of mariaeella  . DRD has reared a large series of P. mariaeella  from Lonicera tatarica  at the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York, and D. Ferguson reared it from the same host in Halifax Co., Nova Scotia. CSE and T.S. Feldman have reared it from L. japonica  and L. sempervirens in Durham  and Scotland Cos., North Carolina ( Figs. 56View FIGURES 56–59, 63View FIGURES 60–63).

Maier & Davis (1989) stated that Phyllonorycter mariaella  [sic] is probably a junior synonym of the European P. emberizaepenella (Bouché)  . The latter species, however, differs in having a prominent white medial streak from the base of the forewing to the first fascia (absent in mariaeella  ), and in having a partially white head tuft (entirely reddish-brown in mariaeella  ). The two also differ markedly in the shape of the valvae and phallus, and in females of mariaeella  the 7 th sternite possesses an ostial protrusion that is absent in emberizaepenella  .

Comments. The larvae that gave rise to the type series of Phyllonorycter mariaeella  were collected in Missouri on 25 October ( Chambers 1875c). Frey & Boll (1878) reported two generations in Texas, with larvae occurring from June to July and again in November. Subsequent observations have essentially aligned with these dates: our North Carolina specimens were collected as larvae from 29 June to 10 July, with adults emerging from 13 July until sometime between 26 and 31 July; in Utah, Braun (1925b) collected a mine on 18 July and an adult emerged three days later; and in Connecticut, Maier & Davis (1989) reared adults from mines collected on 17 and 25 October.














Phyllonorycter mariaeella (Chambers, 1875)

Eiseman, Charles S. & Davis, Donald R. 2020

Cameraria affinis


Phyllonorycter affinis