Moths of North Carolina
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Mathildana Members:
33 NC Records

Mathildana newmanella (Clemens, 1864) - Newman's Mathildana Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: OecophoridaeSubfamily: OecophorinaeTribe: OecophoriniP3 Number: 420055.00 MONA Number: 1059.00
Comments: Mathildana contains only two species, and both are found in eastern North America.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Clarke (1941); Hodges (1974)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a distinctive species with orangish palps, a white-tipped antenna, and two orange dorsal streaks on the forewing. The following detailed description is primarily based on that of Clarke (1941). The labial palp is orange-yellow and the third segment has a brownish suffusion. The face, tegula, collar, and basal segment of antenna is brassy. The remainder of the antenna is shining purplish black except for about eight terminal segments, which are silvery white. The head, thorax and forewing are dusky black with a pronounced purple luster. There are two conspicuous longitudinal orange-yellow streaks on the forewing that almost touch. One extends from the base along the fold to the basal fifth; the second is in the cell and extends slightly past the middle of the wing. The cilia are fuscous and lighter apically. The hindwing is dark fuscous and the cilia lighter. The legs are shining brassy, and the abdomen is fuscous above with a faint purple sheen. Mathildana flipria is very similar, but the orange-yellow streaks are greatly reduced in size and sometimes missing entirely.
Wingspan: 14-19 mm (Clarke, 1941)
Forewing Length: 5.5-8.5 mm (Hodges, 1974)
Adult Structural Features: Clarke (1941) provides descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. Male M. newmanella can be distinguished from male M. flipria based on the length of the sensory setae on the antenna. These are 1.5X to 2X as long as the depth of each antennal segment on M. newmanella, versus 3X to 4X as long as the depth of the antenna segments of M. flipria.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Very little is known about the larval ecology and life history. The larvae live in webbing beneath the bark on dead hardwoods (Hodges, 1974) and probably feed on fungi and other food resources. The fact that the adults are diurnally active and have bright orange coloration suggest that they may be distasteful or toxic to predators.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Mathildana newmanella is found in eastern North America in southern Canada (Ontario eastward to Nova Scotia) and much of the eastern US. In the US the range extends from the New England states westward to Minnesota, Illinois, and Missouri and as far south as northern Georgia, northern Alabama, and central Mississippi. As of 2020, our records span most of the state except the central and southern portions of the Coastal Plain.
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: Local populations are uinivoltine and have a short flight season. The adults have been recorded from April through August in different areas of the range, with a strong seasonal spike in May and June. As of 2020, our records are from late April through mid-September, with most from May through the first week of June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Populations are generally associated with hardwood forests where they feed beneath the bark of dead trees and logs. Our records come from wooded residential neighborhoods and urban parks, as well as natural communities such as mesic hardwood forests in the mountains and Piedmont, and swamplands on the Coastal Plain.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae feed under the bark of dead trees and probably eat fungi and other elements of the microflora and fauna. Larvae were found at one site beneath the bark of apple logs, and at a second site beneath bark on an upright tree (Hodges, 1974).
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally appear at lights, but are also diurnally active and can be found perched on foliage in forested settings. Most of our records are based on daytime observations of adults.
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: Populations occur nearly statewide and are seemingly secure given the number of records that we have and the fact that observers can easily overllok these tiny moths.

 Photo Gallery for Mathildana newmanella - Newman's Mathildana Moth

Photos: 17

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-06-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-06-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-27
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2022-05-14
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-05-11
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-06-22
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-05-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-05-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-26
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-05-16
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-05-24
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-05-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2018-06-01
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2015-05-06
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis, FKW, SBW on 2010-05-09
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: E. Corey on 2006-05-16
Yadkin Co.
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