Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGelechiidae Members:
Sinoe Members:
6 NC Records

Sinoe kwakae Lee, 2012 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420756.00 MONA Number: 1834.20
Comments: Sinoe was traditionally treated as a monotypic genus that is restricted to the eastern US. It has since been split into four species. In a revision of the genus, Lee and Brown (2012) redescribed S. robiniella and recognized two additional species (S. chambersi; S. kwakae) that occur in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Lee and Brown (2012)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based on the description in Lee and Brown (2012). The head is white with a mixture with gray and brown scales, while the thorax is gray mixed with white scales. The antenna is brown and about two-thirds the length of the forewing. On each flagellomere the basal row of scales is dark brown and the apical row gray. On the labial palp, the outer side of the second segment is dark brown with white annuli at two-thirds the length and at the apex. The inner side is white, and the third palp segment is white with two dark brown annuli. The ground color of the forewing varies from brown to gray. The costa has two conspicuous brownish black spots at one-third and two-thirds the wing length, and a smaller one at the wing base. The subbasal fascia is dark brown with a dark brown median spot often at the base. It extends from the dorsum obliquely toward the first costal blotch, but ends at about the middle of the wing. The dark scaling (basal patch) in front of the fascia is either absent or does not extend all the way to the wing base. There are two dark brown to blackish median longitudinal streaks. The first is often surrounded by brown and begins at about one-half, while the second is posterior to this. The hindwing is light brown to gray with silvery brown to gray fringe.

This species is similar to S. robiniella and S. chambersi and is best separated by phenology and patterning. Sinoe chambersi is active in winter through early spring (typically Jan-March), has dark scaling that extends from the fascia to the wing base, and typically has two dark, longitudinal streaks in the middle of the wing. Sinoe kwakae is similar to S. chambersi, but has dark scaling that does not extend from the fascia all the way to the wing base. This is a more southern form that flies year-round in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and other southern locales. Sinoe robiniella also has dark scaling that does not extend from the fascia all the way to the wing base, but has the first longitudinal median streak reduced to a spot.
Wingspan: 9.2-12.4 mm (Lee and Brown, 2012).
Adult Structural Features: Lee and Brown (2012) provide descriptions and illustrations of our three native Sinoe species. Diagnostic features for S. chambersi for the male genitalia are the costal part missing from the valva, the vinculum projections being sparsely setose from
the base to the apex, and the phallus lacking cornuti. The female is distinctive in having a ring-shaped sterigma. On males the hair pencils and sex scales are also helpful in identifying Sinoe species. Both of these are absent on S. robiniella. On S. kwakae the male lacks a hair pencil at the base of the hindwing, and has yellowish orange sex scales on the anal margin from the base to CuA2, on the cubital vein from near the base to the margin, and on the costal margin. On Sinoe chambersi, the hair pencil is present, and a narrow line of yellowish orange sex scales is present on the anal margin from the base to CuA.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The life history of the larval stage is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Sinoe kwakae is found in the southeastern US, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. As of 2020, our only records are from two southern counties in the lower mountains and Coastal Plain.
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 collected in almost every month of the year. As of 2020, our two state records are from July and September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The habitat requirements for this newly described species are unknown.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts are unknown.
Observation Methods: Adults occasionally visit lights, but the larvae have not been discovered to date and are in need of study.
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 populations within the state to assess the conservation status of this species.

 Photo Gallery for Sinoe kwakae - No common name

Photos: 7

Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2023-02-17
Durham Co.
Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2023-02-17
Durham Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn on 2020-07-15
Polk Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2020-07-08
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn on 2016-09-05
Cumberland Co.
Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn on 2016-09-05
Cumberland Co.
Recorded by: K. Kittelberger on 2012-03-04
Wake Co.