Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFOecophoridae Members:
Decantha Members:
96 NC Records

Decantha boreasella (Chambers, 1873) - Reticulated Decantha Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: OecophoridaeSubfamily: OecophorinaeTribe: OecophoriniP3 Number: 420037.00 MONA Number: 1042.00
Comments: Decantha is a small genus with a largely holarctic distribution. There are currently seven recognized species, including four in North American.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Clarke (1941); Hodges (1974)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1923)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based primarily of that of Clarke (1941). The labial palp is white and overlaid and speckled with black. The antenna is checkered black and white. The head is black with a reddish luster, and mixed with white posterodorsally. The thorax and ground color of the forewing are shining golden, and the base of the tegula and collar are narrowly black. A black band occurs at the base of forewing, with the outer margin concave and edged with white. The remainder of the wing consists of a reticulated pattern of dark brown marks on a golden background. The dark marks consists of a triangular costal mark at about one-third the wing length, a more squarish costal mark at about two-thirds, a terminal costal mark near the apex, and a somewhat squarish or U-shaped mark on the inner margin at about one-half. These have white margins on one or both sides, and are interconnected by a line of white and/or black scales to form a reticulated pattern. The cilia are golden ocherous and often have dark scales at the base that spill over to the termen. The hindwing is dark fuscous and the cilia shining yellowish fuscous. The legs are black and annulated with white at the joints. The abdomen is fuscous. Decantha boreasella is similar to D. stecia, but the two differ in size (forewing length = 4.0-6.5 mm for D. boreasella versus 3.0-3.5 mm for D. stecia; Hodges, 1974). In addition, D. stecia is somewhat paler, has a black thorax (light golden in D. boreasella, and has less dark pigmentation on the inner half of the wing tip.
Forewing Length: 4.0-6.5 mm
Adult Structural Features: Clarke (1941) has descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia and Hodges (1974) of the male genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Very little is known about the larval life history. Forbes (1923) reported that the caterpillar is translucent white, with a yellow-brown head and cervical shield. They can be found beneath pine bark in June. However, he treated D. boreasella as being synonymous with a closely related European species (D. borkhausenii) and it is uncertain whether his comments are based on direct observations in New York, or on literature published on D. borkhausenii.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Decantha boreasella is found in eastern North America. The range includes southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec) and most of the eastern US from Maine to southern Florida, and westward to Minnesota, Kansas, Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. This species occurs statewide in North Carolina except for the higher elevations in the mountains.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Adults have been recorded from January through August in different areas of the range, As of 2020, our records extend from mid-March through early July. Populations appear to be univoltine in North Carolina, with a peak in activity from mid-March to mid-April in the Coastal Plain, and during May elsewhere.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The preferred habitats are unknown, but larvae are suspected of requiring dead pines for foraging. Most of our records are from partially wooded residential neighborhoods.
Larval Host Plants: Robinson et al. (2010) list pines (Pinus sp.) and a fern (Polystichum sp.) as hosts but the sources for these records are not known. The larvae are thought to feed on dead pines and burrow beneath bark (Forbes, 1923). - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S4S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is widespread across the state and seemingly secure.

 Photo Gallery for Decantha boreasella - Reticulated Decantha Moth

92 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-05-27
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-05-20
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2024-05-12
Transylvania Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-05-07
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2024-05-07
Transylvania Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-05-05
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-29
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-29
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-04-29
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-04-23
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper on 2024-04-16
New Hanover Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper on 2024-04-16
New Hanover Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2024-04-14
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-04-06
Brunswick Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-04-05
Brunswick Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-04-05
Brunswick Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-06-06
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-06-03
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-06-02
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2023-05-15
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2023-05-15
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-05-13
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-05-06
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-04-29
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-04-21
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn on 2023-03-27
New Hanover Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-21
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-06-14
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-08
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-28
Madison Co.
Comment: