Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFChoreutidae Members: 2 NC Records

Caloreas leucobasis Fernald, 1900 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Choreutoidea Family: ChoreutidaeSubfamily: ChoreutinaeP3 Number: 580018.00 MONA Number: 2641.00
Comments: Caloreas is a small genus with eight described species that are all found in North America.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Fernald (1900); Forbes (1923)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is mostly based on that of Fernald (1900) and Forbes (1923). The antenna is finely banded with black and white. The head, thorax, and basal third of the forewing is cream-colored to white and contrast sharply with remainder of the wing, which is predominantly dark fuscous. The darker, apical two-thirds of the wing has complex patterning that includes a whitish central patch that extends from the costa to about the middle of the wing. The patch is surrounded by metallic silvery gray to bluish gray dusting that is weakly organized as bands. The subapical region has a narrow light reddish brown band and adjoins dark and light bands in the cilia. Blackish wormy streaks and blotches are present in the remainder of the wing. The legs are boldly marked with white and blackish banding. The hindwing is warm brown, and the upper side of the abdomen is brown with lighter scales at the end of each segment. The angle and quality of light can greatly modify the appearance of specimens, but the contrasting white and dark patterning is distinctive for this species.
Wingspan: 10-12 mm (Fernald, 1900)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Caloreas leucobasis is widely distributed in North America but has rarely been collected. Adults have been recorded from New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Ontario, and Quebec in the East, and from British Columbia, Alberta, Oregon, and California in the West. Our two records from Madison County represent a major disjunct from northern populations in the eastern US. Given that this species has strong northern affinities, it is surprising to find them at lower elevation sites in the 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: Specimens have been observed from April through December in areas outside of North Carolina. Our two records are from May and October.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The host plants and habitats are poorly documented. Our two records were from a semi-wooded residential neighborhood, and a nearby site that was next to an extensive stand of River Cane (Arundinaria gigantea).
Larval Host Plants: The only known host listed by Robinson et al. (2011) is Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea). This northern species is not native to North Carolina but is occasionally grown as an ornamental. It is not present in the vicinity of either of the collection sites in Madison County, which suggests that other hosts are used in the state.
Observation Methods: The adults appear to rarely visit lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: This species appears to be disjunct and rare, with only two records from sites that are in close proximity. We need additional information on its distribution and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Caloreas leucobasis - No common name

Photos: 3

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-23
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-23
Madison Co.
Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan and Jim Petranka on 2018-10-08
Madison Co.