Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFCosmopterigidae Members: 3 NC Records

Walshia elegans Hodges, 1978 - No Common Name

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: CosmopterigidaeSubfamily: ChrysopeleiinaeP3 Number: 420320.00 MONA Number: 1614.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1978)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The dorsum of the head and thorax are darker gray. The frons is also dark gray with shining yellow and purple reflections. The labial palp is nearly unicolorous dark gray, with the scale bases pale. The antenna is nearly black, with the distal nine segments white or yellowish white. The forewings and abdomen are unicolorous grayish black to dark grayish brown. The foreleg is very dark gray, with the apex of the fourth tarsal segment and entire fifth segment medium gray. The midleg is similar, but with the apices of tarsal segments pale gray. The hindleg is similar to the midleg, but slightly paler. The apex of the tibia, the base and apex of the first tarsal segment, and the apices of the remaining segments are pale gray. Hodges (1978) note that W. elegans is very similar to W. particornella. It can be separated from W. particornella by the pale apices of the tarsal segments and the quadrate valvae. Also, the scale tufts of the forewings seem to be better developed than in W. particornella. This species is best identified using genitalia.
Forewing Length: 5.2 mm
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1978) has descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia, and a key to identifying North American Walshia based on genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This rarely collected species has been found in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. As of 2021, we have three specimens that are all from a single site along the coast.
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)

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Flight Comments: As of 2021, our three records are from late-June through mid-August. Hodges (1978) reported one specimen from 13 July (Arkansas) and a second from 13 September (Louisiana).
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records are from a dune area and sandy spoil area at the coast.
Larval Host Plants: Hodges (1978) reported that Walshia species feed on stem tissue within galls, and usually on legumes. We have no specific information concerning the hosts of this species.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights, but only a few adults have ever been collected.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: This appears to be a rare species, with perhaps only six specimens or so known to science. Ours are from a single site in a state park.