Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGelechiidae Members: 16 NC Records

Chionodes fondella (Busck, 1906) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420996.00 MONA Number: 2076.00
Comments: The genus Chionodes is the most species rich genus of gelechiid moths in the Western Hemisphere, with 187 recognized species. Our knowledge of the diverse array of species in North America is largely due to the monumental work of Hodges (1999), who spend decades working on the group and described 115 new species (Powell and Opler, 2009). Many exhibit substantial variation within species and have drab coloration, typically with brown, dark gray, or blackish patterning on the forewings. These can only be confidently identified by examining secondary sexual characteristics and/or the genitalia of one or both sexes. Others are more boldly marked and can be identified by wing patterning. Many of our state records are based on Hodges (1999) database of over 19,000 specimens that he examined from major collections in the US. These include North Carolina specimens that he collected mostly from Highlands, and from a few other areas within the state.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1999)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a distinctively marked Chionodes that has intense black marks on the forewing, with the mark at the end of the cell extending a short distance basally as a broad line. The following detailed description is based on that of Hodges (1999). The vertex, thorax, and ground color of the forewing are pale yellowish white to ashy gray and overlain with dark gray to blackish dusting. The antenna is pale with darker annulations. The recurved labial palp is pale gray to off-white and extends nearly to the thorax. The second segment has concentrations of dark gray-brown tipped scales at the base and before the apex laterally. The third segment is mainly white, with many dark gray-brown tipped scales laterally. These are most noticeable at one-half the length and before the white apex. There are two conspicuous black marks. The first is a broad, oblique band that begins on the costa at about one-third the wing length and extends posteriorly nearly to the dorsal margin. The second is an irregularly shaped costal mark at about two-thirds. It has a broad line that extends forward and terminates before reaching the posterior margin of the first mark. The apical third of the wing is often heavily dusted with blackish scales, and in some individuals they are organized as a diffuse blotch. The hindwing and cilia are light grayish brown. The dorsal surface of the abdomen is mottled dark and medium gray, and the legs are dark grayish brown to blackish, with pale to off-white annulations. Chionodes pseudofondella is similar, but the second black mark does not have the broad line that extends forward, and a black spot is present between the two marks. In addition, the second segment of the labial palp is nearly white and lacks numerous dark-gray tipped scales.
Forewing Length: 4.7-6.7 mm (Hodges, 1999)
Adult Structural Features: (Hodges, 1999) has detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is poorly documented. Schaffner (1959) reported rearing C. fondella from the flowers of "everlasting" in New Hampshire, but the genus of the host was not reported. Larvae were present during August and September and pupae were present from fall to the following spring. The adults emerged in June.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Chionodes fondella is broadly distributed across the eastern and central US and southern Canada. In Canada, the range extends from Alberta eastward to Nova Scotia. In the US, it extends from Montana southeastward to Colorado, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, and eastward across most of the eastern US, except for the southeastern Coastal Plain. As of 2021, all of our records are from lower 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: Almost all records from areas outside of North Carolina are from April through July. As of 2021, we have records from early April through mid-July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records are mostly from semi-wooded residential neighborhoods. The specific hosts are rather poorly documented, but the reported hosts are typically found in more open, sunny ot partially sunny sites.
Larval Host Plants: Schaffner (1959) reported rearing C. fondella from the flowers of "everlasting" in New Hampshire, but the genus of the host was not reported (possibly Antennaria, Anaphilis, or Pseudognaphalium). Robinson et al. (2010) list Fragrant Rabbit-tobacco (Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium) and Hodges (1999) reported that a specimen was reared from Monarda fistulosa L. in southern Ontario.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Wikipedia
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 only three site records for this species. Additional inofrmation is needed on its distribution and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Chionodes fondella - No common name

Photos: 17

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-20
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-10
Madison Co.
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