Moths of North Carolina
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5 NC Records

Pelochrista pallidipalpana (Kearfott, 1905) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: OlethreutinaeTribe: EucosminiP3 Number: 621004.00 MONA Number: 3153.00
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.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Kearfott (1905a); Wright and Gilligan (2017)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a small, broad-winged species of Pelochrista with a distinctive forewing patterning that has brownish-gold to pale fawn interfascial areas and dark brown markings (Kearfott, 1905a; Wright and Gilligan, 2017). The head has long loose scales in the front and on top that are pale ocherish at the base and pure white at the tips. The second joint of the labial palp has long loose white scales that conceal the third segment and that are shaded basally and outwardly with pale ocherish (Kearfott, 1905a).

The wing has a light brownish-golden or pale fawn ground that is broken into large irregular patches by narrower dark brown markings. The dark marking tend to form a broadly reticulate pattern across the wing, with some individuals having narrow irregular sub-basal and median bands of sorts that are connected by two longitudinal streaks. They sometimes have a faint whitish incomplete margin. The ocellus is well defined, with metallic gray bars on the lateral margins and three black dashes crossing a golden central field (Wright and Gilligan, 2017). The termen and fringe has a salt-and-pepper-colored band from the tornus to the apex, and the costa has a series of conspicuous white strigulae that are delimited by short blackish-brown dashes. The hindwing is brown with paler cilia and the tarsi are annulated with light brown.
Wingspan: 11.5 to 13.5 mm (Kearfott, 1905a).
Forewing Length: 5.2-6.6 mm; mean 6.0 mm (Wright and Gilligan, 2017)
Adult Structural Features: Wright and Gilligan (2017) provide illustrations of the male and female genitalia. The following descriptions are from their work. In males the uncus is broadly rounded (basal width about 2 times the height) and clearly differentiated from the dorsolateral shoulders of the tegumen. The base of the phallus is closely surrounded by the anellus, and the vesica has 1-4 cornuti. The valva has a concave costal margin, a moderate ventral emargination, a well-defined neck, and an angulate saccular corner. The cucullus has a strongly developed dorsal lobe with a rounded apex, a weakly convex distal margin, and a weakly-developed, triangular ventral lobe that bears a thin anal spine.

In females, the papillae anales are moderately setose and taper from a broadly rounded anterior lobe to a narrowly rounded posterior lobe. The sterigma is Type ll and the microtrichiate lamella postvaginalis has a medially indented posterior margin and inwardly curling lateral margins. Sternum 7 is trapezoidal, with the posterior edge concavely indented to about one-half the sterigma length. The sclerotization of sternum 7 is strong along the lateral and posterior margins and weak otherwise. The ductus bursae has an irregularly shaped sclerotized patch that extends from the ductus seminalis nearly to the constriction that is anterior to the ostium, and the corpus bursae has two signa of different sizes.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Pelochrista pallidipalpana has been found at scattered localities from Connecticut to Wisconsin, Iowa and eastern Nebraska to as far south as North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Populations appears to be localized and absent from many portions of general range (Wright and Gilligan, 2017). As of 2022, we have records from the Piedmont (Polk Co.) and the Coastal Plain, with several records from the Sandhills.
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 appear to be uivoltine, with records extending from June through August. Wright and Gilligan (2017) reported capture dates that ranged from 25 June to 8 August for specimens that they identified. As of 2022, our records are from late June and early August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from open woodlands. One record is from a stand of dry-xeric scrub oaks but the other three are from wetter sites, including a sandhill seep, a streamhead peatland with White Cedars, and a wet Longleaf Pine savanna. One historic record comes from an unknown habitat in the vicinity of Tryon at the edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment.
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: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Pelochrista pallidipalpana - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: J. Bolling Sullivan on 2022-06-24
Craven Co.