Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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View PDFCosmopterigidae Members:
Walshia Members:
5 NC Records

Walshia floridensis Hodges, 1978 - No Common Name

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Family: CosmopterigidaeSubfamily: ChrysopeleiinaeP3 Number: 420323.00 MONA Number: 1617.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1978)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Most of the Walshia in the eastern US cannot be reliably distinguished based on external features and require the examination of genitalia (Hodges, 1978). In addition, W. miscecolorella, which was once thought to be a single species, appears to contain a group of cryptic species (12 BINS currently recognized on BOLD). There are an undetermined number of undescribed species in the W. miscecolorella complex, including at least one that occurs in North Carolina. The following is a general description that applies to all of these cryptic species, including W. floridensis, W. similis, and members of the W. miscecolorella complex. The face and vertex are dark brown. The labial palp is recurved and brownish exteriorly. The antenna is brownish with a lighter tip, and has a pecten that consists of a single scale at the base of the first segment. The thorax and basal third of the forewing are dark brown, and the posterior edge of the dark brown area extends obliquely from the costa to the inner margin. It adjoins a broad lighter band at one third to one-half that runs roughly parallel to it from the costa to the inner margin. Beyond the light band there is a darker zone on the apical half. This area is darker than the median band, but lighter than the basal one-third. There are several patches of large raised scales, including a pair of dark patches at one-fifth. The first of these is just below the costa, while the second is just posterior to the first and between the fold and the dorsal margin. At about two-fifths there is a pair of light patches, including one that occurs from the costa to the fold, and a second smaller patch that is just posterior to this and between the fold and the dorsal margin. A final dark patch is often evident at about four-fifths near the middle of the wing. In addition to these prominent patches, there are six small patches that are evenly distributed from the tornus to the apex, and three or four similar patches along the costal margin from about three-fourths to the apex. Many of the patches may be missing in worn specimens. The cilia are fuscous to grayish. The hindwings are dark fuscous and the cilia slightly lighter. The abdomen is dark brown dorsally and pale buff ventrally. The legs are dark brown on the outer surface, shining buff on the inner surface, with light gray to white rings at the middle and apices of the tibiae. The tarsal segments are light gray apically. Stilbosis tesquella is similar, but has a light golden region on the head, thorax, and extreme base of the wing and a different pattern of raised patches.
Wingspan: 4.2- 6.0 mm (Hodges, 1978)
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1978) had descriptions and illustrations of the genitalia.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: Very little is known about the larval life history and ecology. Hodges (1978) noted that larvae were reared from a legume (Dalea pinnata) in Florida that grows in sandhills and longleaf pine flatwoods, but it was uncertain is they made galls like some Walshia species. This host does not occur in North Carolina where other legume species are the suspected hosts.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This species was previously known only from Florida. As of 2020, we have five site records in North Carolina that include the Coastal Plain and lower elevations in the mountains. We suspect that this species occurs in all regions of the state, and is more widespread in the Southeast than previously thought.
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 2020, our records extend from mid-July to late-September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species presumably depends on herbaceous legumes for successful reproduction as do most Walshia, but the host plants in North Carolina are undocumented. Our records as of 2020 range from Coastal Plain forests to a semi-wooded residential neighborhood. Most appear to be open sites that would support understory legumes.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae were reared from Dalea pinnata in Florida. This species does not occur in North Carolina where we suspect that other legumes are used as hosts.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. Collecting and examination of genitalia is essential for identification.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: We currently do not have sufficient information on the distribution and abundance of this species to assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Walshia floridensis - No common name

Photos: 6

Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan on 2020-09-09
Scotland Co.
Comment: Verified by dissection
Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan on 2020-09-09
Scotland Co.
Comment: Verified by dissection
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-08-11
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-08-11
Madison Co.
Comment: Specimen was verified by dissection by Bo Sullivan.
Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan and Jim Petranka on 2018-07-15
Madison Co.
Comment: Both specimens verified by dissection.
Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan on 2016-09-24
Craven Co.
Comment: Specimen verified by dissection