Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFCosmopterigidae Members:
Stilbosis Members:
7 NC Records

Stilbosis tesquella Clemens, 1860 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: CosmopterigidaeSubfamily: ChrysopeleiinaeTribe: [Chrysopeleiini]P3 Number: 420315.00 MONA Number: 1609.00
Comments: Stilbosis consists of 34 species of nearly uniform appearing dark-gray or yellow to orange-brown moths. Eight species occur in eastern North America, and 12 others in the West. Many species are in the northern Neotropics, and two species are known from India (Hodges, 1978).
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Clemens (1860b; Chambers (1881); Hodges (1978)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Busck (1903)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based on descriptions by Clemens (1860), Chambers (1881), and Hodges (1978). The head and face are grayish-silvery, with a metallic luster. while the thorax is metallic golden to bronzy. The labial palp is ocherous, and the antenna is dark fuscous with a white tip. The ground of the forewing is dark, bronzy-brown, with greenish or golden reflections. Three groups of raised scales occur along the wing. The first is at the basal fourth of the wing and consists of two large dark brown tufts that almost touch each other (sometimes fused into one), and extend almost to the costal and dorsal margins. The second is just beyond one-half the wing length and consists of two equally large tufts that are pale, straw colored. The last is a single large straw-colored tuft at about three-fourths that often touches a small pale costal spot that is slightly posterior to it. The raised scale patches are embedded within patches of straw-yellow scales that are most prominent on the median and post-median regions. In addition to these large tufts, there are four or five small patches along the outer margin. The cilia are fuscous and tinged with reddish. The hindwing and cilia are both dark fuscous, while the legs are dark brown and annulated with white.
Wingspan: 9 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Forewing Length: 3.0 - 4.7 mm (Hodges, 1978)
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1978) has descriptions and illustrations of the genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Busck (1903) reported that the larvae are leaf-tiers. He observed them feeding on the leaflets of American Hog-peanut, but did not provide details about the feeding ecology. He found mature larvae in July that were around 8.5 mm in length. The head is light yellow with black eye spots, and the body yellowish white. The thoracic shield, anal plate, thoracic feet, and tubercles are all blackish brown.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Stilbosis tesquella is found in eastern North America. Scattered populations have been found from southern Maine and adjoining areas of Canada (Ontario; Quebec) westward to Minnesota and Iowa. The range extends southward to eastern Kentucky, Virginia, and the southern Appalachians (Hodges, 1978). Disjunct populations in Colorado may belong to this species. As of 2021, our two site records are both 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: Adults have been documented from May through August in areas outside of North Carolina, with a seasonal peak in July. As of 2021, we have records from 16 May to 20 July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: American Hog-peanut appears to be the most important host. This species is typically found in rich, moist forests and associated forest edges.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts are poorly documented, but include American Hog-peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata) and a Lespedeza species.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. More effort is needed to document host use in North Carolina.
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: This species is seemingly uncommon within the state where it reaches the southern limit of its range in the western mountains. We need additional information on its distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Stilbosis tesquella - No common name

Photos: 7

Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-27
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-17
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-13
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-05
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-31
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-16
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-16
Madison Co.