Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGelechiidae Members: 3 NC Records

Gelechia albisparsella (Chambers, 1872) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeP3 Number: 420848.00 MONA Number: 1929.00
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Chambers (1872)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Chambers (1872)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a small brown moth with a recurved labial palp and very few markings. The following is based in part on the description by Chambers (1872, p. 146). The head, thorax, antenna, upper abdomen, and ground color of the forewing are fuscous and concolorous. The thorax often has a tiny dark spot at the posterior tip. The second joint of the labial palp has elongated, dark-brown, bushy scales. The third joint is smooth and brown, and often has a somewhat lighter tip. The forewing is unmarked except for a small dark spot with a few surrounding white scales just before one-half the wing length. A second spot is present at the end of the disc at about two-thirds, and is often indistinct or missing. Individuals sometimes have an additional spot along the inner margin that is slightly anterior to the first spot. On the apical fifth there is an indistinct whitish narrow fascia that is sometimes incomplete. A zone of darker dusting is present immediately anterior to the fascia. In addition, a narrow longitudinal band of dark dusting is present along the basal half of the costa.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Chambers (1872, p. 146) reported that the larvae feed on the underside of American Sycamore leaves, where they live in a roll or short tube formed from webbing and the downy trichomes. Charley Eiseman (BugTracks post; July 3, 2011) found a similar tubular web with trichomes on American Sycamore. Pupation occurred beneath the webbing.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Gelechia albisparsella occurs in the eastern US from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio southward to Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The range extends westward to northern Indiana and Illinois and Missouri. As of 2021, we have only one record from a lower elevation site 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 have been collected during most months of the year. Late autumn and late winter records suggest that the adults overwinter and are active during bouts of warm weather.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species appears to specialize on the American Sycamore, which is common along streambanks and in alluvial forests throughout the state.
Larval Host Plants: The only known host is American Sycamore (Plantanus occidentalis).
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights. Additional information is needed on the larval ecology and phenology of North Carolina populations, so we encourage naturalists to find larvae and rear adults.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S1S3
State Protection:
Comments: Despite the widespread occurrence of American Sycamore in North Carolina, we have only a single record for this species as of 2021. Additional inofrmation is needed on its distribution and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Gelechia albisparsella - No common name

Photos: 2

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-12-09
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-12-09
Madison Co.
Comment: