Moths of North Carolina
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47 NC Records

Stegasta bosqueella (Chambers, 1875) - Red-necked Peanutworm Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 421168.00 MONA Number: 2209.00
Species Status: This species can be a significant pest in peanut fields where is distorts shoot growth and defoliates developing stems (Pinto et al., 2020).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Immature Stages: Manley (1961)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a distinctively marked dark moth with a bold orange mark on the forewing and a well-defined sub-apical costal spot. The following description is based on the original description by Chambers (1985). The head is yellowish white, while the antenna is dark brown with the extreme tip of the basal joint white. The labial palp is dark brown, with a yellowish white annulus around the middle and tip of the second and third joints. The thorax and ground color of the forewing are brown. The forewing has a broad fascia at about the basal fourth that passes from the costa across the wing. It eventually fuses with a broad, pale orange longitudinal band that extends along the dorsal margin towards the cilia. The fascia varies from whitish to being concolorous with the longitudinal band. The band is widest basally, then narrows near the middle before widening again apically. A faint, white costal spot is present at about one-half the wing length, and a larger one at about four-fifths and just before the cilia. The cilia are blackish, and the hindwing light gray to grayish brown. The abdomen is blackish and the legs brown with pale yellowish annulations.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Manley (1961) reported that the young larvae feed within the terminal buds of peanuts and other legumes. They then mine the leaves, and later shift to feeding externally between the unfolding leaves. They may also occasionally mine into the plant stem. This leads to bud and leaf destruction, and distorts the growth of the shoots. There are five instars, with the last 8-10 mm in length. The head capsule of the older larvae is brownish, while the pro- and mesothorax are a striking red or wine color. The remainder of the body is white to amber-colored. The red-wine coloration begins to develop during the second instar. Upon completion of feeding, the fifth instar larva moves down the plant and wanders around on the soil at the plant base, then burrows into the soil and spins a silken cocoon in which it pupates. In a few instances, the larva pupates in plant recesses or in tunnels within the plant shoots. In Oklahoma, there are often four or five broods per year, and overwintering occurs in the pupal stage.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Stegasta bosqueella is rather widely distributed across much of eastern North America, then westward to Colorado and Arizona, and southward to Central America, the Caribbean region, northern South America, and Brazil. Populations have been introduced into several areas of the Old World where peanuts are grown. This species appears to occur essentially statewide in North Carolina, from coastal regions to the lower elevations in the Blue Ridge.
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: Adults have been found during all months of the year. Most records for areas outside of North Carolina are from April through October. As of 2021, our records extend from January through early November, with the majority from July through October.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Common Partridge-pea and other native plants that serve as hosts are usually found in relatively open habitats. Typical habitats include open woods, power line corridors, roadsides, and infrequently mowed meadows.
Larval Host Plants: North American populations feed on several genera of legumes, including the domesticated peanut (Arachis hypogaea), Common Partridge-pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), Summer Farewell (Dalea pinnata), Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Pencil-flower (Stylosanthes), and a species of Zornia.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights and the larvae are often abundant in fields of peanuts.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Fields, Gardens, and Ruderal Habitats
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S4S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is seemingly secure, particularly given that it can become a pest in cultivated fields.

 Photo Gallery for Stegasta bosqueella - Red-necked Peanutworm Moth

34 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-10-24
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-09-21
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2022-09-17
Martin Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Lior Carlson, Richard Teper on 2022-09-06
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-09-01
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-08-29
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-08-26
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-08-03
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-07-31
Sampson Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-07-31
Sampson Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-25
Greene Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-07-23
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-07-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-10-13
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-10-01
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-10-01
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-09-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-09-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-01-03
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-01-03
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-11-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-11-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-09-09
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-28
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-28
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2020-08-08
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-03-12
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-09-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2017-09-21
Wake Co.
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