Moths of North Carolina
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Chionodes Members:
39 NC Records

Chionodes pereyra Clarke, 1947 - No Common Name

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Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420999.00 MONA Number: 2104.00
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.
Field Guide Descriptions: The larvae are known to feed on oaks, but very little is known about the larval life history. Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1999)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The labial palp is pale luteous and suffused with light brown in the brush. The second segment is irrorate with blackish fuscous exteriorly, while the third segment is blackish fuscous. The head is ocherous-white to sordid white, with the scales brown to fuscous-tipped. The antenna is blackish fuscous with light-brown annulations. The ground color of the thorax and forewing is light-brown. A moderately large, blackish-fuscous spot is on the costa at the basal third. Elongated blackish-fuscous spots are present on the fold just before the middle of the wing, in the center of the cell, and at the end of cell. The apical third of the wing is fuscous and bisected by a pale, outwardly angulate, transverse fascia at the apical fourth. The cilia are light yellowish fuscous, mixed with fuscous. The hindwing is pale gray basally, and shades to dark fuscous apically. The legs are ocherous-white and suffused and banded with fuscous. The abdomen is light fuscous above, with the posterior edges of the segments narrowly bordered with ocherous-white to sordid white. This species is best identified using genitalia.
Wingspan: 16-18 mm (Clarke, 1947)
Forewing Length: 6.8-8.9 mm (Hodges, 1999)
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1999) has descriptions and illustrations of the genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Chionodes pereyra is found from Massachusetts and vicinity southward to southern Florida, and westward to eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, and Michigan. As of 2021, almost of our records are from Highlands in Macon County, where Hodges (1999) collected extensively. We have a single records from the coast.
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)

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Flight Comments: Hodges (1999) reported the flight season to extend from mid-March to mid-September, with most records from June and July. As of 2021, we have records from January through December, with a seasonal peak in July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Populations are associated with hardwood forests with oaks.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae feed on members of the red oak group (Hodges, 1999). The known hosts include Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) and Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra).
Observation Methods: The adults come to lights, particularly on rainy nights (Hodges, 1999).
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: We currently do not have sufficient information on the distribution and abundance of this species to assess its conservation status.