Moths of North Carolina
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0 NC Records

Pelochrista galenapunctana (Kearfott, 1905) - No Common Name


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Taxonomy
Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: OlethreutinaeTribe: EucosminiP3 Number: 620946.00 MONA Number: 3045.00
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.
Species Status: Pelochrista galenapunctana 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. kimballi.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Wright and Gilligan (2017)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Pelochrista galenapunctana is externally similar to other members of the albiguttana group. In all members of this group the forewing varies from golden brown to brownish yellow and lacks fasciate markings. The wing has numerous, scatter whitish to grayish spots that are often margined to varying degrees with darker scales. The ocellus is conspicuous, is edged laterally by transverse metallic gray bars, and has a brownish central field that is crossed by two or three black longitudinal dashes (the third often greatly reduced). The costa has prominent whitish strigulae that are separated by short golden-brown to blackish dashes, and the termen has a narrow salt-and-pepper-colored band that extends from the tornus to the apex (Wright and Gilligan, 2017) .

Pelochrista galenapunctana is the largest member of the albiguttana group (mean front wing length = 9.1 mm versus 5.6-8.2 mm), but it also has the greatest variation in front wing length (6.0-12.0 mm). It has historically been distinguished from P. albiguttana and P. graciliana by the color of the forewing spots (solid gray vs. white with gray edging in the latter two), but Wright and Gilligan (2017) identified specimens from Mississippi and North Carolina with forewing spots that had a mixture of white and gray. The spots are sometimes very weakly expressed, especially in material from the Southwest. The authors noted that specimens collected east of the Rocky Mountains tend to be golden brown, while those from the Southwest are usually pale brownish. The genitalia are distinctive.

Pelochrista galenapunctana has a transcontinental distribution and Wright and Gilligan (2017) surmised that it might represents a complex of several similar species given that there is substantial variation in size, forewing appearance, and valva shape. They noted that there is some geographical influence on size, with the smaller specimens being from the East and Midwest, and the larger ones from the Rocky Mountain region and the Southwest. However, the subtly different valva shapes that they observed were not concordant with either geographic distribution or color phenotypes, and the female genitalia were quite uniform across the entire range. As such, they elected to treat all populations as belonging to a single species.

Forewing Length: 6.0-12.0 mm with a mean of 9.1 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.

Wright and Gilligan (2017) noted that this species can be distinguished from all other group members by the shape of the papillae anales, which has broad posterior lobes that form a distinct circular pad. It resembles P. kinballi in the shape and scaling of sternum 7 and in the presence of a ring-like membranous -- and sometimes barely developed -- lamella antevaginalis with varlably developed lateral projections vs. nearly parallel lateral margins. It differs from P. albiguttana and P. graciliana in sterigma Type (II vs. III). The males are separated from other members of the group except P. graciliana by the valva shape and the number of marginal spines at the anal angle (2-4 versus 1).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: As treated by Wright and Gilligan (2017) P. galenapunctana has a transcontinental distribution. They documented specimens from Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington DC, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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)

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Flight Comments: Capture dates that were reported by Wright and Gilligan (2017) range from early April in southern California to late September in Colorado. We have no data on the flight season for North Carolina.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats:
Larval Host Plants: The host plants are undocumented.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks:
State Protection:
Comments: We currently do not have sufficient information on the host use, habitat requirements, and distribution and abundance of this species within the state to assess its conservation status.