Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFTineidae Members: 28 NC Records

Monopis crocicapitella (Clemens, 1859) - Bird Nest Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Tineoidea Family: TineidaeSubfamily: TineinaeTribe: [Tineini]P3 Number: 300168.00 MONA Number: 415.00
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Clemens, 1859 Technical Description, Immature Stages: Gerard, 1995                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following description is based in part on that of Clemens (1859) and Forbes (1923). The head, head tuft and face are saffron yellow to pale yellow. The labial palp is yellowish, but dark brown externally. The dark fuscous antenna is long and extends to near the beginning of the terminal fringe. The thorax is saffron yellow to yellowish above and dark fuscous on the sides. The ground color of the forewing is dark fuscous and has scattered yellow scales that are more prevalent and better organized along the costa. An irregular, somewhat sinuous, narrow yellow streak occurs on the inner margin to the wing tip. A semi-hyaline pale discal spot is present at about one-half the wing length. The hindwing is pale brownish gray, and the legs are brown with yellow flecks and yellow tips near the joints. Tinea mandarinella is very similar, but has a sub-apical costal blotch and lacks the pale, semi-hyaline discal spot at one-half.
Wingspan: 9-17.5 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult Structural Features: Gerard (1995) and Turbanova et al. (2019) have illustrations of the male and female genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: All except the first-instar larvae live in silk cases that have fragments of wool, frass, shed head capsules, or other debris incorporated on the outside (Gerard, 1995). The case is dorsolaterally flattened and open at both ends. The larvae have a tan head capsule and a glossy, creamy white body. The prothoracic shield has two triangular pale amber plates on the dorsal surface. The mature larvae are about 10 mm long and live in cases that are 9- 12 mm long and 2.5-3.5 mm wide. Pupation occurs within the case. Gerard (1995) documented five instars and found that the first instar requires relatively high humidity for survival.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This species attacks stored grain, potatoes, and wool based products and has been transported to many areas of the world. It is most prevalent in temperate regions, including North America, Europe, Russia, Japan, southeastern Australia, and New Zealand. Monopis crocicapitella was originally described from eastern North America, and is presumed to be native. However, its original range is poorly resolved. It is widely distributed in North America where it is most common in the West Coast states and in the eastern US. As of 2020, we have records that range from the coast to the lower elevations in the mountains.
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: Adults have been found during every month of the year outside of North Carolina, but are most frequently encountered from April through October. As of 2020, we have records that extend from March through November, with a burst of activity during the spring and a second bout of activity in the fall.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is a generalist detritivore that is not strongly dependent on plant hosts. Populations in the wild exploit natural materials such as mammal scat or debris in bird nests, but the larvae also commonly feed on human products.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae are detritivores and feed on a variety of organic matter. Populations in the wild feed on rich organic material such as owl pellets, bat guano, and mammal scat, as well as the fecal material, feathers and debris in bird nests. This species also exploits human products such as wool products, fur, and stored potatoes, flour, and grain (Gerard, 1995; Powell and Opler, 2009; Turbanova et al., 2019).
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally appear at lights and the larvae are often found in wet carpeting and other wool products.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks:
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
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 Photo Gallery for Monopis crocicapitella - Bird Nest Moth

33 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-06-23
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-03-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-03-08
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-02-24
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-11-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-16
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-23
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-06-05
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-24
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-09
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-09
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-11-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-03-24
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-03-24
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-03-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-03-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-11-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-11-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2018-06-17
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2018-05-26
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2018-05-26
Buncombe Co.
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