Ottawa (Dunrobin), ON Canada
30 August 2004 8:18PM EST (left)
8 September 2004 9:49PM EST (right)
My initial identification of Machimia tentoriferella
among the many species of moth arriving at my door was based on Covell (1984);
subsequently I have also relied on the greater detail provided in Hodges, R.W., The
Moths of North America North of Mexico, Fascicle 6.2, Gelechioidea Oecophoridae
(London: E.W. Classey, 1974).
Machimia tentoriferella is fairly readily recognizable
from its pale yellowish gray or grayish forewing with a pair of dark gray-brown
squarish antemedial dots and a short straight gray-brown line (sometimes
followed by slight shading) about two-thirds of the way along the wing.
There is also usually a diffuse dark blotch near the midpoint of the inner
margin. When the wings are closed at rest, as in the photo at right above,
this blotch appears to mark the center of an X shape, with the dark dots and
short line at the corners of the X. A series of somewhat diffuse black
smudges marks the curve of the postmedial line. The hindwing is gray and
may have a yellowish tint. Hodges (1974) indicates a wing length of 8 to
13 mm; Covell (1984) notes a wingspan of 2.0 to 2.6 cm.
According to Hodges (1974) and Covell (1984), the larva of Machimia
tentoriferella, sometimes termed the Gold-Striped Leaf-Tier, is a leaf-tier
on any of considerable variety of trees and shrubs, including birch, ash, elm,
maple, oak, basswood, butternut, cherry, beech, hickory, mountain ash, balsam
poplar, chestnut, hazel, apple, lilac and dogwood, many of which can be found at
my location. Hodges indicates an adult flight season mainly from early to
mid-September, but extending into mid-October.
My records to date for Machimia tentoriferella (each date
representing "the night of") are in the table below: