Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFGelechiidae Members:
Chionodes Members:
34 NC Records

Chionodes sevir Hodges, 1999 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420976.00 MONA Number: 2115.10
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: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1999)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The head and thorax vary from yellowish gray to dark gray. The first and second segments on the labial palp are mottled with dark gray, pale yellow, or orange gray scales, while the third segment is mainly black with irregularly scattered pale yellow scales. The dorsal surface of the antenna is dark gray to blackish, with alternating pale yellow and grayish black bands. The forewing ground color is light gray to grayish black with darker markings. A wide, posteriorly oblique, dark blackish band is present that begins on the costa at about one-fourth the wing length. The band terminates before reaching the inner margin, and tends to broaden inwardly. A pale yellow to yellowish gray spot is present on the costa at three-fourths that sometimes connects to a faint, thin, grayish to yellowish gray fascia. A large, dark blotch or irregular band often fills the area immediately anterior to the spot and fascia. The apical fifth of the wing that is posterior to the fascia is blackish. The dorsal surface of the abdomen is medium to dark gray, with the posterior margin of each segment is very pale yellow. Chionodes sevir is most likely to be confused with C. formosella in eastern North America because the color patterns are similar. However, the costal spot at three-fourths the length of the forewing is white in C. formosella, and more subdued and yellowish gray or orangish gray in C. sevir. If in doubt, these species can be easily differentiated from each other using genitalia.
Forewing Length: 6.3-8.4 mm (Hodges, 1999)
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1999) has descriptions and illustrations of the genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is poorly documented. They are leaf-tiers and there is one possible record of them using oaks (Hodges, 1999).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Chionodes sevir occurs from Massachusetts southward to Florida, and westward to eastern Kentucky, the southern Appalachians, Mississippi, and as an apparent isolate in southwestern Texas. As of 2021, all of our records are from the Blue Ridge Mountains.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Hodges (1999) reported the flight season as being from early April to late September, with a seasonal peak in July. As of 2021, we have records that extend from January through December, with a seasonal peak in July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records are mostly from sites with mesic hardwood forests, including many records of Hodges (1999) from Highlands, NC.
Larval Host Plants: Hodges (1999) reported that C. sevir has been reared from Quercus species in the red oak group, but no details were provided. - View
Observation Methods: The adults come to lights.
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 host use, distribution, and abundance within the state to assess the conservation status of this species.

 Photo Gallery for Chionodes sevir - No common name

Photos: 5

Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-05-14
Durham Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2020-03-08
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-07-29
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-22
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-22
Madison Co.