Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGelechiidae Members: 52 NC Records

Coleotechnites florae (Freeman, 1960) - Coleotechnites Flower Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420727.00 MONA Number: 1809.00
Comments: The genus Coleotechnites includes 49 very small species that occur in North America. Most species are specialists on conifers and tend to use on a single genus of host plant. Many of the Coleotechnites species have almost identical genitalia that are not very useful in delineating closely related forms (Freeman, 1960; 1965). Freeman (1960) noted that host plants and the mining characteristics often provide the most reliable way to identify closely related species.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based in part on the description by Freeman (1960). The antenna is alternately marked with ocherous and black bands. The second joint of the labial palp has black-tipped scales below, white above, with a slight apical tuft. The terminal joint is white with two dark rings. Individuals vary in general body patterning, but most have a concolorous band of grayish white to dirty white coloration that extends from the vertex to the thorax, and then as a narrow, wavy light stripe that extends along the dorsal margin from the wing base to near the apex. The remainder of the wing is heavily dusted with dark brown or blackish scales. Very heavily dusted individuals may have most of the area beneath the dorsal light stripe almost entirely black. There are three equally-spaced blackish dots with raised scales along the inner margin at about one-fourth, one-half, and three-fourths that are centered on the indentions on the dorsal stripe. On some individuals these may be completely masked by the heavy black dusting. Lightly dusted individuals often show evidence of three blackish, diffuse, oblique bars that begin along the costa at about one-fourth, one-half, and three-fourths. These are sometimes separated by whitish regions with dark dusting, particularly near the costa where they may appear as whitish blotches. The last bar adjoins and is anterior to a whitish costal spot at about four-fifths. The hindwing is silvery gray, and the fringe on both wings is mostly light gray. The front and middle legs are black with white banding, while the hind leg is creamy-white with black bands. Darkly dusted specimens of C. florae often closely resemble C. quercivorella, but the latter lacks a well-developed whitish costal spot at about four-fifths that is just posterior to the third dark bar.



Wingspan: 12.5-13 mm (Freeman, 1960)
Adult Structural Features: Freeman (1960) has a description and illustration of the male genitalia. The male has a long, ocherous hair-tuft that extends from beneath the base of the hindwing.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Freeman (1960) documented the feeding behavior of larvae that mine the needles of Lodgepole Pine. The larva initially enters a needle near the base and mines to the apex. The frass is ejected from the entrance hole and accumulates among webbing at the base of the needle. Webbing is spun from the entrance hole to adjacent needles, and the larva uses this shelter to enter another needle near the base. The full-grown larva then leaves the needle and bores into the stamlnate flowers near the abandoned needle, where it pupates. The larval ecology of populations in other areas of the range is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Coleotechnites florae was originally described from Canada and has since been found to be widespread in North America. Population are known from most of southern Canada from British Columbia to Quebec. The range includes much of the eastern US from New Hampshire and Massachusetts southward to South Carolina and Alabama, and westward to central Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin. As of 2021, we have records from all three physiographic provinces, with most from the 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 documented from March through November is areas outside of North Carolina. Populations in North Carolina appear to have two or more broods per year. We have records from mid-February through early-November.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The larvae mine the needles of pines, and populations can be found in pine and mixed pine-hardwood forests.
Larval Host Plants: The known hosts (Robinson et al., 2010) are all western and northern species, and include Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta), Apache Pine (P. engelmannii), and Red Pine (P. resinosa). The hosts that are used in the southeastern US are undocumented.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Pine Forests and Woodlands
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: Additional information is needed on host use, distribution, and abundance before we can assess the conservation status of this species within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Coleotechnites florae - Coleotechnites Flower Moth

65 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-15
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-05-29
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2022-05-20
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-04-02
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-04-02
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-03-31
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-03-25
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-03-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-03-18
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-03-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-03-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-10-31
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2021-08-09
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-22
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-07-16
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-01
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-26
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-17
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-04-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-04-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2021-04-06
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-04-06
Durham Co.
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