Moths of North Carolina
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20 NC Records

Aroga argutiola Hodges, 1974 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 421137.00 MONA Number: 2184.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Hodges (1974a)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wilson (1974)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based on that of Hodges (1974a). The maxillary palp is gray. The outer surface of the first segment and base of the second segment of the labial palp are gray, while the inner surface of the first and second segments are mainly white. The scale brush on the second segment is pale orange to red-orange, while the third segment is mainly dark gray with yellowish-white scales at the base, anterior margin, apex, and sometimes elsewhere. The frons is white with a row of gray-brown scales in front of the eye, and the vertex and occiput are gray. The antenna is dark gray. The dorsal surfaces of the thorax, tegula, and forewing are dark gray. There is a patch of white scales on the costa at three-fourths the wing length, and often one on the posterior margin at three-fourths the wing length. A few white scales are often present on the fold, just before and just beyond one-half the length of the fold. A few white scales are also present at two-thirds to three-fourths the length of the cell, and at the end of the cell. The fringe is mainly pale gray. The hindwing is mainly pale yellowish gray above, with yellow more intense on the outer third of the wing. The legs are mainly dark gray, with off-white to whitish markings. Hodges (1974a) noted that A. trialbamaculella, Aroga argutiola and A. epigaeella cannot be distinguished based on external appearance, but can be identified using genitalia.
Forewing Length: 5.6-8.0 mm (Hodges, 1974a).
Adult Structural Features: Hodges (1974a) has descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia, and a key for separating Aroga argutiola, A. epigaeella, and A. trialbamaculella.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: Much of our knowledge of the larval life history is based on Wilson's (1974) study of populations in Michigan that used Sweet Fern. In this region, populations are univoltine and the adults emerge and oviposit from late May through early June. The first two instars spin a silken tube directly on a leaf and skeletonize the tissues, while the later instars are leaf tiers that bind leaves together with silk to form a nest. In the center of the nest is a spindle-shaped, silken retreat that is about 2-3 cm long and open at both ends. The larva lives within the retreat and skeletonizes the leaves that comprise the nest in the vicinity of the retreat. The fully developed larva is yellow or tan with six red longitudinal stripes along the length of the body. The final instar finishes feeding in October, then drops to the ground and spins a silken cocoon that is covered with leaf debris. The larvae overwinters in the cocoon and pupates in early May. Adults in North Carolina emerge as early as late March in the Coastal Plain, and there are likely two broods.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Aroga argutiola occurs in eastern North America from southern Canada (Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario) and Michigan southward to Louisiana. Hodges (1974a) reported specimens from Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana.
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: Local populations in the Coastal Plain appear to be bivoltine, with adults first emerging in late March, then again in July through early September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The majority of our records come from open heathland habitats in the Coastal Plain, including maritime dunes, flatwoods, and sand-ridges. One historic record comes from the vicinity of Highlands, where upland heath thickets are likely to be the habitat used by this species.
Larval Host Plants: According to Hodges (1974a), the larvae feed on Sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina), as well as several genera of ericaceous plants. These include Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), Gaultheria, huckleberries (Gaylussacia), blueberries (Vaccinium) and Small Cranberry (V. oxycoccus). We have one rearing record for a larva collected from a blueberry (Hodges, 1974a).
Observation Methods: The adults come to lights and have been successfully reared from larvae taken from leaf-folds in the host plants.
See also Habitat Account for General Upland Heath Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S2S3]
State Protection:

 Photo Gallery for Aroga argutiola - No common name

Photos: 3

Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-05-17
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-05-17
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-30
Onslow Co.