Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFBlastobasidae Members:
Calosima Members:
17 NC Records

Calosima dianella Dietz, 1910 - Eastern Pine Catkin Borer Moth

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: BlastobasidaeSubfamily: BlastobasinaeTribe: HolcoceriniP3 Number: 421758.00 MONA Number: 1169.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Dietz (1910); Clarke (1960)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based primarily on the description by Dietz (1910) and Clarke (1960; as Holcocera lepidophaga). The labial palp is slender, reaches to the antennal insertion, and is sordid white and dusted externally with fuscous. The third joint is three-fourths the length of the second. The antenna is slender and simple, and is creamy white to sordid white with narrow, dark annulations. The head, thorax, and forewing vary from silvery or creamy white to ocherous buff or even darker. The forewing of whitish specimens often has a faint clay-colored wash on the apical fourth. The hindwing tends to be concolorous with the forewing, but slightly lighter overall. The legs are silvery white, and often heavily dusted with fuscous. This species varies geographically. Many specimens are creamy white, but in some populations they are light brown or tannish overall. Some populations also have individuals with fine blackish specks or spots on the forewing. As of 2021, specimens that we have observed in North Carolina are creamy white. BOLD data suggests that this taxon may contain two cryptic species. Like so many members of the subfamily Blastobasinae, there is much work that needs to be done on this and related taxa. Holcocera concolor is very similar to the whitish forms, but is restricted to Canada and the New England states. The males have a notch at the base of the antenna, but otherwise must be separated using genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: This species specializes on pines, but the larval life history is rather poorly documented. The larvae feed on the male flower buds and flowers, and on the basal scales of cones and vegetative buds (Clarke, 1960).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Calosima dianella is found primarily in the southeastern US. The range extends from eastern Texas and Oklahoma eastward through the Gulf Coast states to Florida, then northward to North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. As of 2021, our records are all from the eastern Piedmont and 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: Adults are active from January through August in Florida, and from March through July elsewhere outside of North Carolina. As of 2021, our records are from late June through early August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Populations appear to be strongly dependent on Slash Pine and Longleaf Pine for successful reproduction. These species are most commonly found in habitats with sandy soils. Slash Pine is not native, but is widely planted for wood products in southeastern North Carolina. Longleaf Pine grows in sandy areas in both wet and dry situations. It is common in the Sandhills, in wet pine flatwoods and savanna, and many other communities. In the Piedmont, it sometimes grows on xeric slopes.
Larval Host Plants: Heppner (2003) listed Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii) and Longleaf Pine (P. palustris) as hosts. Specimens have been observed outside of the range of these species, which suggests that other pines may be used. - View
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: As of 2021, we have only three site records for this species, suggesting that it may be uncommon within the state. More detailed information on its distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements are needed before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Calosima dianella - Eastern Pine Catkin Borer Moth

Photos: 6

Recorded by: R. Newman on 2023-07-22
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-06-26
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-06-26
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-16
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2013-08-06
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2012-07-15
Wake Co.