Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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View PDFTineidae Members:
Acrolophus Members:
6 NC Records

Acrolophus simulatus Walsingham, 1882 - No Common Name

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Superfamily: Tineoidea Family: TineidaeSubfamily: [Acrolophinae]Tribe: [Acrolophini]P3 Number: 300054.00 MONA Number: 381.00
Comments: The genus Acrolophus is a mostly neotropical taxon with over 250 described species, including 54 that are currently recognized in North America. The labial palps on the males of many species are very elongated and densely hairy. The larvae of some species live in silk-lined burrows in the ground and feed on the roots and young shoots of grasses and herbs. However, the life histories of most species remain undocumented and in need of study. Members of this genus were previously placed in their own family (Acrolophidae), but they are now treated as a subgroup within the Tineidae based on molecular phylogenetic studies.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Hasbrouck (1964)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is a relatively small species of Acrolophus. The head is rough with brownish scales and the labial palp of the male is recurved over the head. It extends onto the thorax, but terminates before reaching the posterior edge. The second joint is very long and roughly clothed with projecting scales beneath. The third joint is about half as long as the second, brushlike, and with very long diverging scales. The antenna is slightly pubescent and simple, but may appear to be somewhat serrated on both sides. The forewing has alternating brown and whitish ocherous patches, with the brown patches taking the form of two angulated bands. Raised bluish-fuscous scales are scattered throughout, but especially in the darker patches (Hasbrouck, 1964). The hindwing and cilia are dull brown. This species is similar to Acrolophus cressoni, but the labial palps extend onto the thorax.
Wingspan: 15 mm (Hasbrouck, 1964)
Adult Structural Features: Hasbrouck (1964) has descriptions and illustrations of the male genitalia. The male antenna is simple but appear somewhat serrate due to rings of slightly elevated scales that completely encircle each segment. The eyes are setose, and the uncus has a single process that is minutely and acutely bifid at the extreme apex. This species can be distinguished from the closely related A. bicornutus by the shape of the cucullus and in the number of cornuti in the aedeagus (Hasbrouck, 1964).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: The life history of the larval stage is undocumented.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Acrolophus simulatus ranges from south-central Texas eastward along the Gulf Coast to Florida and northward to North Carolina. There are only a few scattered records for this species outside of Florida, including two in North Carolina from Robeson County.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

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Flight Comments: Adults records for areas outside of North Carolina extend from June through October. Our one dated record is from 20 May.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Recent records in North Carolina come from sand ridge habitats, including one site that is dry to xeric and one that includes a White Cedar stand located adjacent to dry slopes.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts are undocumented. Heppner (2007) reports grasses are used as hosts, but it is unclear if this is based on actual observation or just inferred based on the hosts of other Acrolophus species. - View
Observation Methods: The few records that exist are from captures at lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S1S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be rare in North Carolina and throughout much of its range.