Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFGelechiidae Members: 8 NC Records

Agnippe prunifoliella Chambers, 1873 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420698.00 MONA Number: 1771.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Chambers (1873); Forbes (1923)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based on those of Chambers (1873) and Forbes (1923). The head and thorax are white, with a blackish shade above the antenna. The antenna is dark grayish brown, and the tegula is black. The labial palp is white, with base of the second segment and extreme tip of the third blackish. The ground color of the forewing is black in the middle, and black with grayish speckling towards the costa. The subterminal region tends towards gray with blackish speckling. The inner margin has a broad, longitudinal, wavy white streak that extends from the base to the apex, with scattered black flecks that become more pronounced towards the apex. The streak is sometimes interrupted just before the apex to produce a separate white spot at the tornus. The streak has two conspicuous inward bulges, one at around one-third the wing length, and a wider one at two-thirds. A white, subterminal costal spot is present that is more or less distinct, and a matching spot is sometimes evident on the tornus. The hindwing and cilia are pale yellowish-brown to light grayish-brown. The legs are mostly black with white annulations. Coleotechnites quercivorella is similar and is most easily distinguished by its conspicuously banded labial palps.
Wingspan: 9 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Chambers (1873) observed larvae in September that were feeding on wild plums. The tip of the leaf was turned downward where they presumably skeletonized the lower surface. The larvae were pale green and immaculate.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Agnippe prunifoliella is widely distributed across North America, including the West Coast states, much of southern Canada (British Columbia to Prince Edward Island), and the eastern US. Populations in the eastern US range from Maine to Florida and westward to Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Michigan. Populations appear to be absent from much of the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Virginia to Georgia. As of 2021, our records are from the Piedmont to the higher elevations in the mountains.
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: The adults can be found nearly year-round in Texas, and from March through September in other areas of the range outside of North Carolina. As of 2021, we have records from late March through mid-July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The larvae feed on American Plum and probably on related species. American Plum prefers rich, mesic soils and is typically found in partially shaded habitats such as woodland borders, fencerows, and early successional habitats.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts are poorly documented, but this species seems to specialize on Prunus species, including American Plum (P. americana) and the domesticated Peach (P. persica).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. More information is needed on host plant use and the larval life history.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S3S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be uncommon in the state, with only six site records through 2021.

 Photo Gallery for Agnippe prunifoliella - No common name

Photos: 9

Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-06-08
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-18
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-18
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-06-03
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-06-03
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2019-05-13
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-05
Madison Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger, P. Scharf on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
Recorded by: K. Kittelberger on 2012-03-27
Wake Co.