Moths of North Carolina
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3 NC Records

Pseudopostega quadristrigella (Chambers, 1875) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Nepticuloidea Family: OpostegidaeSubfamily: OposteginaeTribe: [Opostegini]P3 Number: 160113.00 MONA Number: 122.00
Comments: The genus Pseudopostega contains a group of very small leaf mining moths. The adults have a conspicuous head tuft, a large basal eye cap on the antenna, and relatively short and broad bodies and wings. There are 84 described species in the New World, with the majority of these occurring in tropical and subtropical regions. Nine species occur in the US, but only three are found in North Carolina and adjoining states. Davis and Stonis (2007) published a monograph on Pseudopostega species of the New World that is the authoritative work on this genus.
Species Status: Chambers originally described P. quadristrigella from a single specimen collected from Edmonson Co., Kentucky, but a type specimen has never been found. Davis and Stonis (2007) designated a neotype from Balsam, North Carolina, that was selected from a large series of specimens that Annette Braun collected in July 1911.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Opostega quadristrigella)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Davis and Stonis (2007)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Pseudopostega quadristrigella is a small, mostly white moth with a conspicuous head tuft, a large basal eye cap, and a short, broad wing. The forewing is typically white, but sometimes has a suffusion of scattered brownish scales over the distal half. A median, distally oblique, dorsal spot is usually present. The spot is yellowish to dark brown, irregularly shaped, and usually depressed along the dorsal margin. There are usually two or three subapical strigulae that vary from yellowish to fuscous brown, and two or fewer tornal strigulae (these are sometimes missing altogether). Specimens that lack the median dorsal spot and have a distal suffusion of scattered brownish scales may have only a single costal strigula. The terminal cilia are white, but sometimes become cream-colored along the dorsal margin. The hindwing is usually yellowish brown to cream colored both dorsally and ventrally. The cilia vary from cream to pale yellowish brown, but are occasionally white. This species closely resembles other Pseudopostega in the region (P. albogaleriella; P. cretea) and reliable identification requires examination of the genitalia.
Forewing Length: 4.4-5.2 mm
Adult Structural Features: Davis and Stonis (2007) recognized 14 groups of Pseudopostega based on the morphology of the genitalia and provided a key to the groups. Pseudopostega quadristrigella is a member of the divaricata group. The authors provide detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. Features that are distinctive include the male gnathos that terminates in a variably furcate apical lobe. In addition, the basal fold is extremely narrow and slightly arched at the middle. The papillae anales of the female is bilobed, and consists of a pair of small, rounded, setose lobes on a narrow, elliptical base. Davis and Stonis (2007) noted that P. quadristrigella may be easily confused with P. albogaleriella, and the female genitalia are also somewhat similar in possessing a dense scattering of minute spines over much of the internal surface of the corpus bursae. The males of the two species are distinguished by the variably furcate caudal lobe of the gnathos of P. quadristrigella, compared to the spatulate form typical of P. albogaleriella.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: The larvae and pupae have never been discovered, and we have no information concerning the larval life history of this species.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Pseudopostega quadristrigella is widespread within the eastern and south-central USA from Maine to as far west as Oklahoma and Texas (Davis and Stonis, 2007). Populations appear to be rare in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont and there is an apparent disjunct population in South Dakota. As of 2019, all of our records are from lower-elevation sites in the Blue Ridge.
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: Davis and Stonis (2007) reported that adults are in flight from May to August, with the adults tending to fly earlier in the southern portions of the range. As of 2019, our records are all from July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The habitat requirements are poorly resolved due to the complete lack of records for the larval stages and associated host plants. We have records from Highlands and Balsam, with both possibly from higher elevation sites.
Larval Host Plants: Robinson et al. (2008) reported that the larvae feed on Ribes, but there is no evidence to support this (Davis and Stonis, 2007). None of the nine Pseudopostega species that occur in North America has been reared and the host plants are unknown. The common name 'Gooseberry Barkminer Moth' has been inappropriately applied to this species. Opostegoides scioterma is a related form that mines Ribes, but European species of Pseudopostega are known to use many host species, including members of the Lamiaceae.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to UV and mercury-vapor lights.
Wikipedia
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: We currently do not have sufficient information on the distribution and abundance of this species to assess its conservation status within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Pseudopostega quadristrigella - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-07-17
Madison Co.
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