Moths of North Carolina
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Caryocolum Members:
6 NC Records

Caryocolum pullatella (Tengström, 1848) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GnorimoscheminiP3 Number: 421333.00 MONA Number: 2042.00
Comments: The genus Caryocolum contains over 75 species of small moths that are mostly found in the Old World. Six species occur in North America north of Mexico (Pohl et al., 2016), and C. pullatella is the only one that has been recorded in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Huemer (1988, p.495)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a very small moth with narrow wings that are held flat at rest, forming a long rectangle when viewed from above. The head and thorax are brown, but the face is whitish. The labial palp is recurved, with a brush of raised scales on the underside of the second segment. The palp is whitish on inner surface of the second segment, while the outer surface and third segment are mottled dark brown to black. The forewing pattern and color are variable. The ground color is usually mottled dark brown to blackish and has a white costal and a white tornal patch at about four-fifths the wing length. These sometimes form a continuous band across the wing, but are usually isolated spots. A medial white patch is present at about one-half the wing length and a second at about one-fourth that is less distinct. Orange-brown dorsal and costal spots are sometimes present. Caryocolum cassella is similar but occurs primarily in the West (one record exists for Kentucky). Caryocolum protectum has been recorded in Kentucky, but differs from C. pullatella in that the forewing is clay-colored and lacks a distinct pattern (Huemer, 1988).
Forewing Length: 5.0-6.5 mm (Huemer, 1988)
Adult Structural Features: Huemer (1988) has descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. The male reproductive structures of C. pullatella are diagnostic, including the shape of the eighth tergite and sternite.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history has not been described.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Caryocolum pullatella is found in north-temperate regions of Eurasia and Japan, as well as in North America. Populations have been found in most of southern Canada, from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island in the East. In the US, specimens have been documented in Colorado, in the Pacific Coast states, and in North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. As of 2021, all except one of our records are from lower to higher elevations in the Blue Ridge. We have two unusual records from the Sandhills.
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: Huemer (1988) noted that local populations are probably univoltine, but with a prolonged flight. Records for areas outside of North Carolina extend from May through October, with a seasonal peak in May and June. Our records as of 2021 are from June and July, except for a Sandhills record from mid-October.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The habitats are not recorded for the sites where this species has been recorded in North Carolina.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts species are undocumented, but members of the C. marmoreum group feed on members of the Caryophyllaceae, including Cerastium and Silene (Huemer, 1988).
Observation Methods: The adults comes to lights to some extent.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We presently have few records for this Holarctic species in North Carolina. More information is needed on its distribution, host plants, and habitat affinities in North Carolina before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Caryocolum pullatella - No common name

Photos: 4

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-07-25
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-07-25
Madison Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger, P. Scharf on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger, P. Scharf on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.