Moths of North Carolina
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Pelochrista Members:
6 NC Records

Pelochrista kimballi Wright & Gilligan, 2017 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: OlethreutinaeTribe: EucosminiP3 Number: 620891.10 MONA Number: 3043.10
Comments: Pelochrista is a large Holarctic genus of tortricids with around 75% of the 226 described species being native to North America (Wright and Gilligan, 2017). The highest species richness occurs in the western half of North America. The genus has a long and confusing taxonomic history, with many of the species formerly placed in the genus Eucosma. Gilligan et al. (2014) conducted a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of Pelochrista, Eucosma, and related genera and redefined the genus Eucosma and Pelochrista based on differences in female genitalia. The great majority of Pelochrista species are known only from adults, which likely reflects the fact that the larvae of most species bore into stem bases and roots and are concealed from view. Members of the Asteraceae are the likely hosts for most species (Wright and Gilligan, 2017), but much work need to be done to identifying the hosts. 6 described species are native to North America. The highest species richness occurs in the western half of North America.
Species Status: Pelochrista kimballi is one of four members of the albiguttana group that was recognized by Wright and Gilligan (2017), with the other members being P. albiguttana, P. graciliana, and P. galenapunctata. The members are very similar in their external coloration and maculation, but can be sorted out using differences in size and genitalia. The type locality for Pelochrista kimballi is the Highlands Biological Station, based on collections made in 1958 by J.G. Franclemont.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Wright and Gilligan (2017)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This species was recently described by Wright and Gilligan (2017) and the following description is from their work. The frons is tan and the vertex golden brown. The labial palp is whitish but shades to golden brown on the dorsal margin, with the third segment contrastingly darker brown. The antenna has a thin brown dorsal streak and whitish lateral scaling. The dorsal surface of the thorax is golden brown and the legs are tan to whitish with dark brown tarsal annulations. The forewing is golden brown with uniformly distributed small whitish spots that are variably edged with gray. The costa is marked from the base to the apex with short brown dashes and white strigulae. The ocellus is conspicuous and edged laterally with lustrous gray bars. The central field varies from white to pale golden brown and is crossed by two narrow black dashes. The termen has a narrow salt-and-pepper-colored band from the tornus to the apex, and the fringe is pale golden brown. The hindwing is brownish gray.

Wright and Gilligan (2017) noted that P. kimballi is the smallest species in the albiguttana group (mean FWL = 5.6 vs.7.8-9.1 mm for other members) and usually can be distinguished from other group members by size alone. It also differs from other group members in various aspects of the genitalia tha are detailed by the authors.
Forewing Length: 4.7-6.5 mm; mean of 5.6 mm (Wright and Gilligan, 2017).
Adult Structural Features: Wright and Gilligan (2017) provided a general description of the genitalia that apply to all four members of the albiguttana group as follows. The uncus is well-developed with the basal width about 1.5-2.3 times the height. The socii are of moderate length and fingerlike, and the phallus is tapered distally with the base loosely surrounded by the anellus. The valva has a concave costal margin and the ventral emargination is deep. The neck is narrow, the saccular corner angulate, and the basal process tablike, weakly raised, and variably developed. The dorsal lobe of the cucullus is moderately to strongly developed. The apex is rounded while the distal margin is nearly straight to slightly convex. The ventral lobe is strongly developed and the anal angle has 1-4 marginal spines.

For females, the posterior lobes of the papillae anales are broad and fanlike in P. galenapunctana, but comparatively narrow in other group members. Tergum 8 is narrow and collarlike. The lamella antevaginal is present as a membranous ring in P. kimballi and P. galenapunctana, but absent in other group members. The lamella postvaginalis is microtrichiate, with the posterior margin medially indented and the central trough weakly depressed. The lateral margins/ anterolateral corners of sternum 7 have taxonomically informative patches of densely clustered and firmly socketed scales. The ductus bursae has variable patterns of sclerotization from its juncture with the ductus seminalis nearly to the constriction anterior to the ostium. The inner surface of the ductus bursae has a patch of microtrichia near the ductus seminalis, while the corpus bursae has two signa, with one larger than the other.

In male P. kimballi the vesica has 8-17 cornuti and the saccular corner of the valva has a small flap-like projection. The cucullus has dorsal and ventral lobes of nearly equal length. The former is somewhat wider with a semicircular apex, while the latter is somewhat attenuated with one anal spine. In females, the sterigma is somewhat intermediate between Type II and Type III, with a weakly developed ringlike lamella antevaginalis. The lamella postvaginalis is rectangular and microtrichiate, with the posterior margin irregularly emarginated. Sternum 7 has the posterior margin concave and the anterolateral corners acute and broadly developed. The width at the anterior margin is about 3 times that at the posterior margin. The scaling of sternum 7 is moderately dense on the anterolateral corners, in a narrow band along the posterior margin, and relatively sparse elsewhere. The ductus bursae is irregularly sclerotized, with a patch of microtrichia on the inner surface near the juncture with the ductus seminalis. The corpus bursae has two signa, with one substantially larger than the other.

Structural photos
Immatures and Development: The hosts and larval life history are undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Wright and Gilligan (2017) examined specimens that were from Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Virginia and Mississippi.
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: Wright and Gilligan (2017) examined specimens that were collected from 18 May to 4 September, with most collected during July and August. As of 2022, our records are from late-May through mid-August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Habitats in North Carolina include mesic, montane forests represented at the type locality at Highlands, mesic-dry hardwood forests in the Piedmont, and wet-mesic Longleaf Pine savannas in the Outer Coastal Plain.
Larval Host Plants: The host plants are unknown.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S3
State Protection:

 Photo Gallery for Pelochrista kimballi - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: J. Bolling Sullivan on 2022-05-31
Montgomery Co.