Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGelechiidae Members: 14 NC Records

Pseudochelaria walsinghami Dietz, 1900 - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420805.00 MONA Number: 1864.00
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012); Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Dietz (1900); Forbes (1923)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a very small, pale gray moth with a conspicuous rounded, rhomboidal-shaped mark when a resting moth is viewed from above. The following detailed description is based on those of Dietz (1900) and Forbes (1923). The head, thorax, abdomen, and ground color of the forewing are all ashen gray. The labial palp is long and recurved, and reaches to the thorax. The outer side of the first joint and base of the second joint are fuscous. The third joint is dusted with fuscous, and has a dark ring or blotch just above the base. The antenna is grayish above with faint darker annulations. A large dark brown to blackish spot is located at the posterior of the thorax and joins a concolorous, triangular mark at the wing base. The triangular mark extends from the inner margin to about two-thirds the wing width and is bluntly-rounded. A rather diffuse band of rich dark brown coloration extends though the middle of the wing. The band begins at about two-fifths and progressively broadens until it meets a whitish costal patch at four-fifths, then continues as a narrow band to the apex. The apical fifth is slight lighter than the remainder of the wing except for the dark band that passes through the middle. It is sometimes delineated by a faint pale fascia that is also interrupted by the dark band that passes through to the apex. The cilia are pale with two darker lines that are rather faint. The hindwing and cilia are pale fuscous. The legs are pale fuscous and banded with darker fuscous.
Wingspan: 17 mm (Dietz, 1900)
Forewing Length: 7.5 mm (Dietz,1900)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Dietz (1900) reported that the larvae are green with sparse hairs, and that they construct a white web on the undersides of the leaflets of Staghorn Sumac. A reared specimen on BugGuide (Photo#1519851) was light green with a light amber head and was found in a loosely rolled sumac leaf.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Pseudochelaria walsinghami is found in eastern North America from Maine, Vermont, and adjoining areas of southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec; Nova Scotia), southward to Alabama and Mississippi. The range extends westward to Arkansas, eastern Kansas, eastern Nebraska, and Illinois. As of 2021, we have only four site records, including one from each of the three physiographic provinces.
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 April through September in areas outside on North Carolina, with a seasonal peak in May and August. As of 2021, we have records from early May through late August. Local populations appear to be bivoltine in the mountains and possibly elsewhere.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species specializes on sumacs. These are common in sunny habitats that are often periodically disturbed. Typical habitats include woodland edges, old fields, fencerows, powerline corridors, and infrequently mowed roadways.
Larval Host Plants: Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) is the only documented host (Dietz, 1905; Forbes, 1923). Other sumacs are presumably used in North Carolina given that P. walsinghami occurs statewide and Rhus typhina is restricted to the mountains.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. We need more information on host use within the state. We encourage naturalists to search sumacs for the larvae of these and other sumac specialists, and to rear the adults.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Sumac Thickets and Poison Ivy Tangles
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: As of 2021, we have a few scattered records from across the state. More information is needed on host use, distribution and abundance before we can assess the conservation status of this species.

 Photo Gallery for Pseudochelaria walsinghami - No common name

Photos: 19

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-20
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-05-01
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-08-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-07-07
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2018-06-01
Orange Co.
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