Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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View PDFGelechiidae Members:
Aristotelia Members:
11 NC Records

Aristotelia monilella Barnes & Busck, 1920 - No Common Name

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Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420662.00 MONA Number: 1748.00
Comments: The genus Aristotelia contains over 150 species of small moths that are found worldwide, with around 34 species in North America.
Species Status: This species was described in 1920 from specimens collected near Southern Pines and only a few specimens have been collected since then from scattered locations in the eastern US.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Barnes and Busck (1920)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a distinctively marked Aristotelia, with three bold white marks on the forewing. The following is based on the original description by Barnes and Busck (1920). The labial palp is white, and the second joint has an indistinct brown annulation near the tip. The terminal joint has two broad, blackish brown annulations. The face, head and collar are yellowish white, and the thorax is golden brown. The forewing ground color is light golden brown. At the basal fourth there is a white transverse streak that is outwardly oblique. It is widest on the costa and becomes attenuated towards the dorsum, where it does not quite reach the dorsal edge. On the middle of the costa there is a triangular white spot that is equilateral, and reaches to the middle of the wing. At the apical fourth there is an inwardly directed triangular white streak that reaches to about the middle of the wing. All of these white marks terminate on the dorsal edge in small white spots. The apical and terminal edges of the wing are broadly velvety black, with conspicuous tufts of metallic blue scales around the margin. The cilia are dark brown with white tips. The undersides of both wings are brown, and both have a large white spot at the apical fourth. The abdomen is black, with each joint tipped with silvery white. The legs are dark brown, with white bars and tarsal annulations.
Wingspan: 12-13 mm (Barnes and Busck, 1920)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history in undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Aristotelia monilella was described in 1920 from specimens collected at Southern Pines and has not been collected in North Carolina since then until 2021, when three specimens were documented in Moore and Scotland Cos. This species has been recorded at a few other sites in the eastern US, including northern Illinois, southeastern Kentucky, and the Florida panhandle.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

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Flight Comments: The flight season extends from April through June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The habitat was not reported by Barnes and Busck (1920). As of 2022, all of our records are from the Sandhills and associated with xeric communities.
Larval Host Plants: The host plants are unknown. - View
Observation Methods: The adults appear to only rarely visit lights, although all three of our records are for specimens at lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: GNR S1S2
Natural Heritage Program Ranks:
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species was described from North Carolina and until 2021 had not been seen in the state for over 100 years. The recent rediscovery of the species in the Sandhills indicates that extant populations are still present and perhaps restricted to the Sandhills.

 Photo Gallery for Aristotelia monilella - No common name

Photos: 7

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2023-06-13
Scotland Co.
Recorded by: John Petranka and Jim Petranka on 2023-05-19
Scotland Co.
Recorded by: John Petranka and Jim Petranka on 2023-05-19
Scotland Co.
Recorded by: John Petranka and Jim Petranka on 2023-05-19
Scotland Co.
Recorded by: Bo Sullivan on 2022-05-30
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-07-07
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Bo Sullivan on 2021-07-07
Scotland Co.