Moths of North Carolina
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3 NC Records

Cenopis cana (Robinson, 1869) - Gray Sparganothis Moth

Superfamily: Tortricoidea Family: TortricidaeSubfamily: TortricinaeTribe: SparganothiniP3 Number: 620429.00 MONA Number: 3728.00
Comments: The genus Cenopis has 19 described species. Seventeen of these are restricted to North America, and all 17 occur in the eastern United States (Brown and Sullivan, 2018). Males of Cenopis are easily distinguished from those of Sparganothis by the presence of complex scaling on the frons of the head that forms an unusual “hood” of scales. The males also have a deeply invaginated or folded anal area of the hindwing that bears a distinctive hair pencil.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Powell and Brown (2012)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: In this species the adults have a simple gray forewing color and pattern that will distinguish them from our other Cenopis. The following description is based on that of Powell and Brown (2012). The head, palps, thorax, and ground color of the forewing are pale gray, with the latter having numerous irregular transverse dark gray striae. The forewing ground is overlain with several medium to dark gray markings. These include a small, irregular, basal patch at the costa, and an oblique, incomplete fascia near the middle. The fascia extends from the costa at about two-fifths the distance from the base to the apex to near the middle of the dorsal margin. It is well defined at the costa and dorsal margin (often appearing as two blotches or patches), but usually obsolete near the middle of the wing. The final dark mark is an irregular costal patch about two-thirds the distance from the base to the apex. Females have similar dark markings but they are frequently less well defined. The fringe is pale gray, and the hindwing is pale grayish brown with white in the costal area.
Forewing Length: Forewing length is 8.5–9.0 mm for males and 8.5–11.0 mm for females (Powell and Brown, 2012).
Adult Structural Features: The costal fold of the male is short, but well developed and broad at the base. The entire structure extends about one-eight the length of the forewing. Powell and Brown (2012) have illustrations and descriptions of the male and female genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The life history of the larvae is undocumented, although J.B. Sullivan reared an adult from a larva that was feeding on Sweetgum in North Carolina (Powell and Brown, 2012).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Cenopis cana is primarily found in the Atlantic coastal and southeastern states. The range extends from southern New York and New Jersey southward to central Florida, and westward through the Gulf coast states to eastern Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri. The great majority of records are from the Coastal Plain. As of 2023, we have records from the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
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: The adults have been observed as early as February in Florida, and from April through November elsewhere. The peak flight period in most areas is from April through July. As of 2023, we have records from late May and mid-June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The habitats are poorly delineated.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts are poorly documented, but one specimen from North Carolina has been reared from Sweetgum (Liquidamber styraciflua; Powell and Brown, 2012).
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.
Comments: This species is seemingly uncommon throughout most of its range, including North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Cenopis cana - Gray Sparganothis Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-06-20
Caswell Co.