Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFElachistidae Members: 7 NC Records

Gonioterma mistrella (Busck, 1907) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: ElachistidaeSubfamily: StenomatinaeTribe: [Stenomatini]P3 Number: 420252.00 MONA Number: 1032.00
Comments: Gonioterma is a small genus with around 35 recognized species that are mostly neotropical. There are only two described species in North America. Gonioterma mistrella was previously placed in the genus Stenoma until it was recently split off as a separate genus.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Busck (1907); Duckworth (1964)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Miller (1940)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based primarily on descriptions by Busck (1907) and Duckworth (1964). The face, head, and thorax are light ocherous. The long, recurved labial palp is smooth and light fuscous, and the underside of the second joint is thickened with somewhat darker scales. The antenna of the male is strongly ciliate and that of the female simple. The thorax is light ocherous dorsally. The forewing ranges from light ocherous and minutely speckled with darker brown scales, to uniform dark fuscous in some specimens. There is a small, conspicuous, round black dot at the apex of the cell. Lighter specimens often have an additional faint dark spot or short streak near the anterior end of the cell that is slightly displaced inwardly. The costa is nearly straight and the apex is pointed. The hindwing varies from light ocherous to dark brown depending on the color form, and the cilia are somewhat lighter than the ground color. The abdomen is dark fuscous, and the legs ocherous with the forelegs blackish in front.
Wingspan: 20-23 mm (Duckworth, 1964).
Adult Structural Features: Duckworth (1964) has detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae that were studied by Miller (1940) in Kansas constructed sheltered tubes at the base of grass plants. The shelters had silken webbing and pale green frass along the upper end of the tube. Grass blades were incorporated into the sides, and the upper end was about 2-3 cm from the ground surface. Grass blades in the near vicinity were severely eaten, suggesting that larvae left the tubes to feed. Six reared larvae emerged sporatically between early June and August. The pupal stage was brief and averaged only six days. The larvae were pinkish brown with a dark longitudinal stripe on the dorso-median surface, a chestnut brown head capsule, and a black cervical shield.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Gonioterma mistrella is found in eastern North America. Populations occur in southern Canada (Manitoba; Quebec; Ontario) and in the US from New York and Pennsylvania westward to Kansas, Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. The range extends as far south as the Gulf Coast and southern Florida. As of 2020, our only records are from a single site in a suburban neighborhood in the Piedmont.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Duckworth's (1964) records spanned from April through September. As of 2020, our records from a site in the Piedmont span from mid-July through September, with all but one between mid-July and early August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The habitats are poorly documented. This species appears to use introduced pasture grasses as hosts, and presumably other undocumented native grasses in the Poaceae. Our one site record as of 2020 is from a residential neighborhood in the Piedmont.
Larval Host Plants: The only recorded hosts are two exotic grasses: Common Timothy (Phleum pratense) and Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis).
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Successional and Semi-Natural Grasslands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: As of 2020, we have only a single site record for this species that is from a residential neighborhood. We need additional information on this species distribution and abundance within the state before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Gonioterma mistrella - No common name

Photos: 10

Recorded by: Lior Carlson on 2021-07-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-07-06
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-28
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-28
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-13
Guilford Co.
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