Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGelechiidae Members: 11 NC Records

Aristotelia fungivorella (Clemens, 1864) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420652.00 MONA Number: 1738.00
Comments: The genus Aristotelia contains over 150 species of small moths that are found worldwide, with around 34 species in North America.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Clemens (1864); Forbes (1932)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based in part on Forbes (1932). The head and thorax are light brown and similar in color to much of the ground color of the forewing. The antenna is uniformly pale, with brownish annulations along its entire length. The third segment of the labial palp is narrow and only slightly longer than the thicker second segment. The third segment has three transverse blackish bands on a pale or white ground. The patterning on the forewing is rather complex. The ground is typically light brown, but often with medium brown dusting in places. There are no conspicuous white markings as seen in some congeners. The are three large, dark brown marks. These consist of a broad, slightly oblique bar that begins on the costal at about one-fifth and extends nearly to the dorsal margin, a similar bar at about two-fifths that extends beyond the middle, and a more broad-based costal patch that narrows before terminating near the middle. The costal patch usually has a region of pale whitish wash behind it. The second bar is sinuous and curves both at the costa and broadly towards the middle, where it curves back towards the costal patch. A thin margin of pale scales is usually evident on the posterior edge of the first bar and the anterior edge of the second. In addition, a thin, sinuous, pale longitudinal line that is often fragmented extends from the terminus of the second bar to the end of the dark costal patch, and sometimes beyond. The apical fringe is subcaudate, and an apical spot is not present as seen in some congeners. The apical fringe is crossed by a curved, longitudinal black streak (sometimes poorly developed), and a pale to white bar that extends from near the tornus to the tip of the fringe. The lower legs are dark brown to blackish with whitish annulations.
Adult Structural Features: Forbes (1932) has illustrations of this and other Aristotelia species.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae appear to specialize on willows, and are thought to feed on willow galls that are formed from other insects. However, the larval life history is essentially undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Aristotelia fungivorella is widely distributed across extreme northern Mexico, and in many areas of North America where willows are present. Specimens have been documented in California and throughout most of southern Canada. In the eastern US, it occurs from the New England states southward to the Gulf Coast, and westward to central Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois and Minnesota. As of 2021, all of our records are from the Coastal Plain and eastern 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: Adults have been observed from April through October in areas from outside of North Carolina, with a seasonal peak in June through August. As of 2021, our records are from late March through mid-September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species appears to specialize on willows, which are strongly affiliated with wetlands such as pond and lake margins, floodplain forests with openings, ditches, freshwater marshes, and other hydric sites.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on willows (Robinson et al., 2010), but possibly only on galls that are created by other insects (Clemens, 1864; Busck, 1903a).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights, and have been beaten from willow branches where they often rest. More information is needed on the life history of the larval stage, so we encourage individuals to seek out larvae on willows.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Shoreline Shrublands
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: We currently do not have sufficient information on the distribution and abundance of this species within the state to assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Aristotelia fungivorella - No common name

Photos: 15

Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2021-08-08
Sampson Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2021-08-08
Sampson Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-08-04
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-08-04
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-08-04
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-05-19
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-05-05
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-05-05
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-06-26
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-06-26
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-30
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-06-15
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, K. Kittelberger on 2014-09-17
Vance Co.
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Recorded by: Harry Wilson on 2014-07-06
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams on 2013-09-05
Gates Co.
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