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Olethreutes daeckeana Kearfott

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Food plants

All seven species of Sarracenia, in the flowers, seed vessels, and stems.

[Click the map for a larger view]Distribution (See Map)

    • South Carolina—Summerville
    • North Carolina—Southern Pines
    • Maine—Katahdin Iron Works
    • Delaware—Rehoboth
    • Mississippi—Biloxi, Wiggins
    • Alabama—Theodore
    • New Jersey—Tom's River, Tuckerton, Whitings, Davenport

Smith: New Jersey—Brown's Mills, Tom's River, Lacy, Lakehurst, Iona, Holly Beach.

Description (Kearfott)

Expanse 17-19mm.

Head—black, mixed with pink scales; palpi pale fawn, black outwardly and apically; antenna blackish-fuscous; thorax blue-black; patagia mottled, pale fuscous and pink; abdomen fuscous; legs cinereous, dusted and banded with black.

Forewing—mottled, shining, dull blue-black and pinkish-ochreous. There is a transverse fascia in middle of wing of velvety-black scales, changing to dull ochreus at dorsum; the inner edge is indented four times; the outer edge gives off three long spurs about eqally separated. A smaller black spot is on fold at inner fourth; a disconnected black streak runs from it to base, and above it on costa is another. There is a lunate black spot before apex and a black line from anal angle to above middle of wing. The black spots are generally outwardly outlined with reddish-ochreus. The balance of the ground color is shining dull-blue, dotted with black and pinkish-ochereous. Before the middle of the costa is marked with six short reddish-ochreous dashes; there are four larger wedge-shaped streaks of same color on outer half; the two outer join below the costa and send a line paralleling termen to middle of wing; the outer ends of veins before termen are outlined with black. Cilia bluish-fuscous with a darker line at base.

Hindwing—coppery brown; cilia fuscous with darker basal line; underside, both wings the same; forewing less coppery and more grayish fuscous.

Named in honor of Mr. E. Daecke, who collected and bred the specimens described.

Description (Jones)

The larva of Exyra rolandiana has been noted as feeding in the flowers and unripe ovaries of Sarracenia purpurea. At Summerville no Exyra larvae were found in the flowers of either S. flava or S. minor. The flowers of minor however, which begin to appear toward the end of April, are frequently destroyed by a small Tortrix caterpillar, which feeds among the petals and stamens and also burrows into and hollows out the green ovary, fastening the debris of the flower together with silk. In these larva-infested flowers, the umbrella-shaped style withers and the shriveled petals cling to the wreck of the flower instead of falling at the usual time.

These larvae were noted about May first, when a few of them were almost full fed; they became more abundant by the middle of the month. A slight cocoon is formed in the flower from the debris loosely held together with silk, and from this the brown pupa pushes its way out some hours before the emergence of the moth. Of those under observation, the first appeared May 23rd , though at that date many of the later larvae had not pupated. The latest emergence noted was June 13th.


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    • 1907. Kearfott. Trans. Am. Ent . Soc., XXXIII, 12.
    • 1908. Jones. Ent News, XIX, 151, il .
    • 1910. Smith. Rpt. Ins. N.J., 540.
    • 1917. Bar. & McD. Check List Lep . Bor. Am., 168. (Argyroploce Hbn.)
    • 1923. Forbes. Lep. N.Y. & Neighboring States, 458.
    • 1926. Heinrich. Bull. USNM. 132, 103-104
    • 1935. Jones, in Walcott's portfolio of Nth Amer. Pitcher plants. 25-34. 

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