Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFGelechiidae Members: 8 NC Records

Pseudochelaria pennsylvanica Dietz, 1900 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420803.00 MONA Number: 1862.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Busck (1903a); Forbes (1923)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a small and largely grayish moth, with a distinct shield-like mark that can be seen when a resting moth is viewed from above. The following detailed description is based on those of Busck (1903a) and Forbes (1923). The labial palp is long and recurved, and nearly reaches the thorax. The second joint is dark brown at the base, while the third joint is fuscous to blackish, with the base and extreme tip white. The antenna is faintly annulated with fuscous. The head and body are gray, while the thorax is gray with a dark brown posterior spot. The forewing ground color is grayish and is overlaid with rich brown marks. The most prominent mark is a curved, triangular sub-basal patch that begins on the inner margin and tapers to a point before reaching the costa. The posterior margin is concave, and the tapered tip meets an irregular and rather diffuse longitudinal stripe that extends to the apex. The stripe often bulges at about two-thirds, with the bulge sometimes reaching as far as the costa. The apical fifth is slight lighter than the remainder of the wing and is often delineated by a pale postmedial fascia. There are a few raised white scales in the fold. The cilia is gray with two dark lines, and the hindwing is pale fuscous. The legs are fuscous and annulated with black. .
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Pseudochelaria pennsylvanica is found in eastern North America. The range extends from Quebec, Ontario, and the New England states, southward to West Virginia, Kentucky, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Populations have been found as far west as Illinois, and as a possible disjunct in Missouri. As of 2021, we have records from both lower and higher elevation sites in the Blue Ridge 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: Adults have been observed from May through August in areas outside of North Carolina. As of 2021, our records extend from mid-June through late August. North Carolina populations appear to be univoltine.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The preferred habitats are poorly documented. We have records from both residential neighborhoods and more natural settings such as a mountain bog complex and a high elevation site.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts are undocumented.
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: This species is at the southern limit of its range in western North Carolina, where it appears to be uncommon. More information is needed on host species, distribution, and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Pseudochelaria pennsylvanica - No common name

Photos: 6

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-24
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-24
Madison Co.
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-08-03
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-19
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-19
Madison Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger, P. Scharf on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.