Moths of North Carolina
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6 NC Records

Mathildana flipria Hodges, 1974 - No Common Name


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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: OecophoridaeSubfamily: OecophorinaeTribe: OecophoriniP3 Number: 420056.00 MONA Number: 1060.00
Species Status: The type locality is Black Mountain, NC (Hodges, 1974)
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1974)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Mathildana flipria is very similar to M. newmanella and was treated by Clarke (1941) as a geographic variant of the latter. Hodges (1974) later treated these as a separate species based on differences in genitalia, antennal setae and maculation. In both species the head, thorax and forewing are dusky black with a pronounced purple luster. Both have two longitudinal orange-yellow streaks on the forewing, but those of M. flipria are greatly reduced in size relative to those of M. newmanella. In some specimens one or both streaks may be missing. In both species, the labial palps are pale yellow to yellowish orange, and the antenna is dark gray brown with a purple luster and a white tip. Other features of the external maculation do not differ substantially between species. The degree of development of the orange streaks is sufficient to identify specimens. Differences in the male genitalia and antennal setae are also useful in identifying these species (see structural features below).
Wingspan: 7.5-8.3 mm (Hodges, 1974)
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1974) has descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. In M. newmanella the process of the sacculus is blunt and short, the lateral lobes of the juxta are broadened apically, and the vesica has a medial patch of stout cornuti. In M. flipria the process is concave distally, the apices of the lateral lobes of the juxta are narrow, and the vesica lacks cornuti. In females, the blind pouch immediately anterad to the ostium bursae is absent in M. newmanella, but present in M. flipria. 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: The larvae have never been found, but probably feed beneath the bark of dead trees and logs as does M. newmanella.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Mathildana flipria is found in eastern North America, and only a few scattered populations are known from Ontario, Quebec, Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Virginia, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. As of 2020, we have only four site records that are all from moderate to higher elevations in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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: This species is univoltine with a short flight period. Adults have been found from May through July, with most records from June. As of 2020, our records extend from early May to late June, with all but one record in June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The larvae have never been found but are associated with forested habitats. We have specimens from sites in the western mountains that are all over 3000' in elevation and that include both hardwood and spruce-fir forest.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae presumably live and feed under the bark of dead trees as does M. newmanella (Hodges, 1974).
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally visit lights.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S3]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is uncommon throughout its range. We need additional information on its distribution and abundance before we can accurately assess its conservation status.