Moths of North Carolina
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Gerdana Members:
86 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, GBIFTechnical 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) ≥ 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. 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.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: GNR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: 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

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

Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2022-09-20
Mecklenburg 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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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-14
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-07-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-06-26
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-06-13
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-06-06
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-05
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-06-04
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2022-05-31
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2022-05-29
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-05-29
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-16
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-05-15
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2022-05-14
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-05-04
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-10-01
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall, Ed Corey, Jim Petranka, Becky Elkin, Tom Howard, Carol Tingley, Brian Bockhahn, and Van Cotter on 2021-09-29
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-09-19
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-09-12
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-09-02
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-08-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-08-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-08-12
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-08-11
Chatham Co.
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