Moths of North Carolina
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7 NC Records

Stagmatophora wyattella Barnes & Busck, 1920 - Wyatt's Stagmatophora Moth

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: CosmopterigidaeSubfamily: CosmopteriginaeP3 Number: 420393.00 MONA Number: 1509.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLD                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a distinctive species with a partially white occiput, a labial palp with two annuli, and a dark forewing with white and metallic-silvery markings. The following is based on the descriptions by Barnes and Busck (1920) and Hodges (1978). The vertex is white and the occiput two-toned, with the posterior margin dark brown to blackish and the remainder white. The thorax is dark brown to blackish, while the antenna is dark brown, with a small white spot at the end of the basal joint. The labial palp is creamy white, with two brownish annuli on the terminal joint. The ground color of the forewing is dark brown to blackish, with three shining white markings on the costal margin and two metallic silver spots near the dorsal margin. The extreme base of the wing is white. At the basal one-fifth of the wing, there is an oblique white costal streak that terminates at or just beyond the fold near the middle of the wing. A similar, but shorter streak is at one-half that is sometimes broken into two spots. A large white spot is present on the costa at about four-fifths, and a second smaller spot is present at the apex. Just below the dorsal margin there are two metallic silvery spots. The first is at about one-half the wing length and just anterior to the second costal streak, while the second is at about three-fourths. The hindwing and cilia on both wings are dark gray, while the abdomen is brownish fuscous, with whitish marks along the sides. The legs are whitish and banded with dark brown. Hodges (1978) noted that the extent to which the white areas on the forewing are developed varies substantially among individuals. In some specimens the second white mark on the costal margin is greatly reduced, as are those on the posterior margin.

This species is externally similar to S. sexnotella, but the posterior margin of the occiput is blackish, the base of the forewing is white, and the hindwing and fringe is dark gray. In S. sexnotella, the entire head is white, the base of the forewing is blackish, and the hindwing and cilia are pale gray.
Wingspan: 13-16 mm (Barnes and Busck, 1920)
Forewing Length: 4.5 to 8.0 mm (Hodges, 1978)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Stagmatophora wyattella is found in the eastern US from the New England states southward to the Carolinas, and westward to eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Populations appear to be largely absent from the southeastern Coastal Plain. Our two site records as of 2021 are both from the Piedmont.
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 have been documented from April through September in areas outside of North Carolina, with a peak in seasonal activity from July through September. As of 2021, our two records are from late August and early September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The preferred habitats are largely unknown.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts have never been discovered. - View
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally are attracted to lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: This species is seemingly uncommon in the state, but additional information on its habitat requirements, distribution, and abundance is needed before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Stagmatophora wyattella - Wyatt's Stagmatophora Moth

Photos: 9

Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-09-04
Orange Co.
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-09-04
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2021-09-18
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-09-07
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2021-08-27
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-02
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-02
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-09-06
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Robert Gilson on 2014-08-23
Mecklenburg Co.