Moths of North Carolina
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Gerdana Members:
129 NC Records

Gerdana caritella Busck, 1908 - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: AutostichidaeSubfamily: SymmocinaeTribe: [Symmocini]P3 Number: 420008.00 MONA Number: 1144.00
Comments: Gerdana is a monotypic genus.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Busck (1908); Forbes (1923)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based primarily on the description by Busck (1908) and Forbes (1923). The short, ascending, labial palp is brownish-yellow and terminates before reaching the vertex. The antenna is yellowish brown and extends to about two-thirds the length of the forewing. The face, head, and thorax are light yellow to straw colored and suffused with varying amounts of darker brownish-yellow. These are often slightly lighter colored than the ground color of the forewings, which is otherwise similar. The basal one-third to one-half of the costal edge is darkened with blackish to brownish-black dusting. On some specimens, this expands at the base to form a wide band that extends to the inner margin. There are two obliquely placed blackish dots at one-third, and a series of two or three similar dark spots at about two-thirds, along with a corresponding large blotch on the costal margin. These are often fused to varying degrees to form a crooked dark band. Beyond this, there is a strongly bent, dark, subterminal band that runs parallel to the tip of the costa and outer margin. The area beyond this is suffused with dark dusting, and on some specimens the entire terminal region may appear dark. The markings tend to disappear in rubbed specimens, so expect variation depending on the degree of wear. The hindwing is whitish, and and fringe of both wings straw-colored. The abdomen is straw-colored and heavily spined, and the legs are brownish and liberally dusted with black on the exposed sides.
Wingspan: 13 to 14 mm (Busck, 1908)
Adult Structural Features: Clarke (1942) has descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is poorly documented. The larvae appear to possibly be detritivores or fungivores, and have been reared on several occasions from 'witches' brooms' on northern conifers (Clarke, 1942). These are abnormally dense growths of shoots that are often triggered by fungal infections or insect attacks. One specimen was reared from a Short-eared Owl nest.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Gerdana caritella is found primarily in eastern North America, but scattered populations have been found in the West in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Oregon, Colorado and a few other locales. In the East, this species occurs in Ontario and Quebec, and in most of the eastern US from North Dakota, Kansas, and central Texas eastward to the Atlantic Coast. In North Carolina, this species is relatively common in the Piedmont, and less common in the Coastal Plain and lower valleys in the mountains. It is seemingly absent from the central and northern Coastal Plain.
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: The adults are active year-round in Florida, and from April through October elsewhere in areas outside of North Carolina. A seasonal peak in activity occurs in June through August. As of 2021, our record are from April through October. Local populations appear to have two or more broods per year.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have records from a variety of habitats, including semi-wooded residential neighborhoods and more natural communities. Most are associated with hardwoods or mixed hardwood-pine forests.
Larval Host Plants: The feeding ecology and hosts are poorly documented. The larvae have been reared on several occasions from 'witches' brooms' on northern conifers (Clarke, 1942) and on one occasion from an owl nest. Witches' brooms are diseased or mutated masses of dense deformed twigs and foliage that form a nest-like structure on branches. Robinson et al. (2010) list Mistletoe (Phoradendron) as a host, but we are unaware of the literature source for this. It is uncertain if larvae feed directly on plant tissues in witches' brooms, or perhaps on decaying plant material as do many species in the subfamily Symmocinae. Prentice (1966) reported isolated instances of the adults being reared from Black Spruce (Picea mariana) and Colorado Spruce (P. pungens), but it is uncertain if they were feeding on the plant tissue or on witches' brooms. The feeding ecology of this species in North Carolina is undocumented. - 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.
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 Photo Gallery for Gerdana caritella - No common name

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

Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2024-05-20
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Rich Teper on 2024-05-13
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Rich Teper on 2024-05-13
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-29
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-29
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2023-10-06
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Chuck Smith on 2023-09-05
Davidson Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-09-04
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-09-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2023-08-25
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-08-18
Caswell Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka, David George on 2023-08-05
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2023-08-02
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper, Becky Watkins on 2023-07-30
Swain Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-07-26
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2023-07-21
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-07-13
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka, David George on 2023-07-07
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2023-07-06
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-06-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-06-25
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2023-06-17
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-06-03
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-05-12
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2022-09-20
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2022-08-20
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2022-08-02
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-30
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-07-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Lior Carlson, Becky Watkins, Richard Teper, Stephen Dunn on 2022-07-23
Orange Co.
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