Moths of North Carolina
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Pyroderces Members:
3 NC Records

Pyroderces albistrigella (Möschler, 1890) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: CosmopterigidaeSubfamily: CosmopteriginaeP3 Number: 420400.00 MONA Number: 1514.00
Comments: Pyroderces is a genus of small comet moths that are primarily found in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate parts of the world. They are well represented in Australia and the Old World tropics, and there are three species in North America. Hodges (1978) placed our three species in the genus Pyroderces, but Europeans usually place these in the genus Anatrachyntis.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1978)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The labial palps are light tan, recurved, and extend to the thorax, while the antenna is light tan with fine serrations. The face, vertex, and lateral margins of the occiput and thorax are creamy white, while the center of the thorax is orangish-brown. The ground color of the forewing is orangish brown, and there are two creamy white longitudinal lines that merge towards the wing tip. The first begins near the base of the dorsal margin and extends along the dorsal margin to near the wing tip. Anteriorly, it connects with a similar line on the lateral margin on the thorax and occiput. The second line is just below the dorsal margin and runs roughly parallel to the first for the length of the wing before converging with the first just before the wing tip. Two or more additional creamy white longitudinal lines are sometimes evident between the second line and the costa, but these are very obscure when present. The cilia are light orangish-brown. The hindwings are grayish brown, and the cilia on both wings smoky gray to grayish brown. The legs are light yellowish brown.
Forewing Length: 5.4-6.2 mm (Hodges, 1978)
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1978) has images of the male and female genitalia.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Pyroderces albistrigella is found in the southeastern US from eastern Texas and Louisiana eastward to Florida. It has been found as far north as Tennessee and North Carolina. As of 2021, we have two site records that are both from the coast and that may be northern disjuncts.
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 observed from May through December in Florida, and during September and October in other areas outside of North Carolina. Almost all of the non-Florida records for this species are from the last two weeks of September, which indicates a very short flight period. As of 2021, we have three records from 16-25 September.
Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants: The larval hosts, if any, are unknown. Other species in this genus are detritivores that feed on stored grain, fruits, and decomposing vegetable matter. - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: This species appears to be uncommon to rare in North Carolina and restricted to coastal areas. Populations in North Carolina may be a northern disjunct given that the nearest known populations are in Florida. Its seeming rarity may reflect the fact that the adults have a very brief flight period during the latter half of September. More information on its distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements are needed to accurately assess the conservation status of this species.

 Photo Gallery for Pyroderces albistrigella - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan on 2017-09-22
Carteret Co.