Moths of North Carolina
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Melanocinclis Members:
19 NC Records

Melanocinclis lineigera Hodges, 1962 - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: CosmopterigidaeSubfamily: CosmopteriginaeTribe: [Cosmopterigini]P3 Number: 420387.00 MONA Number: 1503.00
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1962, 1978)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This small moth is somewhat distinctive, with a banded labial palp, an antenna with four dark bands on the apical half, and three bold, black streaks on the forewing. The detailed description that follows is based primarily on that of Hodges (1962). The labial palp is white with four black bands. The antenna scape is white with a black saddle on the posterior surface. The flagellum is buff with darker annulations for the first two-fifths. This is followed by four dark brown to blackish bands that become progressively shorter towards the apex. Each pair of adjoining bands is separated by a short buff section with a black spot in the middle. The face and vertex are white, and the lower half of the face is dark gray. The thorax is white medially and black laterally. The forewing ground color is white and overlaid with tawny flecks. A black, sub-dorsal streak extends from the base of the wing to one-fourth and sometimes reaches the inner margin. It typically joins the dark region on the side of the thorax to produce a conspicuous dark streak in the head and shoulder region. The most conspicuous mark is a broad, oblique black band that extends from the base of the wing at the costal margin to about one-half the wing length. It terminates near the center of the wing near a second black band that starts at about one-half to three-fifths on the costa, and runs to the apex of the wing below the costa. On some specimens the two bands may be weakly connected. The cilia have a black medial line and a fuscous terminal line that extends from the apex to a point parallel with the dorsal margin. The hindwing is shining gray, and the abdomen brown-black above with ochreous scales. The legs are shining white with black bands. The hind tibia has spurs that are dark gray.
Wingspan: 5.5-6.5 mm (Hodges, 1962)
Forewing Length: 2.5-3.2 mm (Hodges, 1978)
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1962) has detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae feed within the cones of at least two species of southern pines (Hodges, 1978), but detailed studies of the larval life history have not been conducted.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Melanocinclis lineigera is associated with southern pine forests and occurs from the New Jersey pine barrens southward to southern Florida, then westward along the Gulf Coast states to central Texas and Arkansas. As of 2021, our records are mostly from the Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont, with one isolated record from a lower elevation site in the mountains.
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: Adults have been documented from January through November in Florida, and from April through September elsewhere outside of North Carolina. There are probably two or more overlapping generations in the most southern populations, and perhaps two in other regions. As of 2021, our records extend from late April through late September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The larvae feed on pine cones and their range correlates well with the combined ranges of the two known hosts.
Larval Host Plants: The only known hosts are Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) and Slash Pine (P. elliottii; Hodges, 1978).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. More information is needed on the larval ecology, life history, and hosts, so we encourage naturalists to search for the larvae on southern pines.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Pine Forests and Woodlands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR] S3S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be somewhat uncommon within the state. More information is needed on its habitat use, hosts, distribution, and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Melanocinclis lineigera - No common name

Photos: 21

Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-10
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-10
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-10
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L.M. Carlson, Becky Watkins on 2022-06-09
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-06-07
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-06-30
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-06-30
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-06-30
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-21
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-06-04
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2020-05-24
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-04-24
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-08-25
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-08-02
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Rob Van Epps on 2019-07-26
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan on 2019-05-21
Jones Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2017-09-21
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn on 2016-09-05
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: K. Kittelberger on 2012-06-17
Wake Co.
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