Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFCosmopterigidae Members: 4 NC Records

Tanygona lignicolorella Braun, 1923 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: CosmopterigidaeSubfamily: CosmopteriginaeTribe: [Cosmopterigini]P3 Number: 420384.00 MONA Number: 1500.00
Comments: Tanygona is a monotypic genus whose single species occurs in eastern North America. It is closely related to Cosmopterix and Pebops, but differs in wing venation and other structural features (Hodges, 1978).
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1978)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based on the description by Braun (1923). The labial palp is smooth, recurved, and very long and slender. The third segment is slightly longer than the second, and the ground color is dark brown, with a white line along the lower edge, and another along the upper edge to the tip. The antenna is nearly as long as the forewing, and is dark brown to brownish ocherous towards the tip. Longitudinal white lines are present along the upper and lower sides, respectively. The head is brownish ocherous, with three longitudinal white lines which continue backwards along the thorax. The ground color of the forewing is brownish ocherous and overlain with three curved, oblique lines. The first extends from the wing base and curves backwards to the fold. The second is a very oblique white costal streak that begins at the basal fourth, then curves and runs in the fold to the middle of the wing. The third begins near the middle of the costa and crosses the wing to the cilia. In addition to these, there is a fine white line that runs along the dorsal edge to beyond the middle, and a perpendicular streak at the apical fourth that is broadest on the costa and extends across the wing to the cilia. There are a few dark-tipped scales between this streak and a white spot on the costa almost at the apex. The extreme apex of the wing is dark brown, and there is a line of dark brown scales around the apex. The hindwing and cilia are pale grayish white, and tinged with ocherous. The legs are grayish white overall. The hind tibia and tarsus are brownish ocherous, with white spots at the bases of the spurs and at the apices of the segments.
Wingspan: 9-10 mm (Braun, 1923)
Forewing Length: 3.6 to 3.9 mm (Hodges, 1978)
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1978) 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 life history of the larval stages is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Tanygona lignicolorella is found in the eastern US from Massachusetts southward to southern Florida, and westward to Mississippi, Arkansas, and Illinois. As of 2021, we have a record from the eastern Piedmont, and a second from 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: The adults fly from May through June in areas outside of North Carolina, with a strong seasonal peak in June and July. As of 2021, we have records from mid-June through mid-July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The preferred habitats are unknown. Our two site records are from forested sites, but we are uncertain if this species is dependent on hardwoods for reproduction.
Larval Host Plants: The plant hosts, if any, are unknown.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
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 two site records for this species. More information is needed on its distribution and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Tanygona lignicolorella - No common name

Photos: 3

Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2020-06-13
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2013-07-15
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2012-06-18
Wake Co.