Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFTineidae Members: 29 NC Records

Monopis dorsistrigella (Clemens, 1859) - Skunkback Monopis Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Tineoidea Family: TineidaeSubfamily: TineinaeTribe: [Tineini]P3 Number: 300171.00 MONA Number: 416.00
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Clemens (1859)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based in part on the description by Clemens (1859). The head, head tufts, and face are very pale yellow and tinged with dark brown on the sides above the eyes and at the base of the antennae. The labial palp is yellowish and dark brown externally. The antenna is brown and extends to about the dorsal terminal fringe. The thorax is dark brown, with the top very pale yellow to whitish. The forewing ground color is blackish brown to black. A whitish or pale yellowish white streak extends along the inner margin and typically has an inward bulge at about one-half and four-fifths the wing length. A large white to very pale yellow patch occurs at about one-half on the costal half. Smaller dots of similar color occur along the costal margin and become larger and more pronounced in the subapical region. The fringe has a mixture of whitish and brown scales and often has a black line near the middle that is bordered by white above and below. The hindwing is pale brownish to light brownish fuscous and the cilia gray to light fuscous. The legs are dark above with lighter bands near the joints. This species superficially Monopis crocicapitella and Tinea mandarinella, but has a whitish dorsal streak and a well-defined whitish blotch at the mid-wing.
Wingspan: 12-14 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is poorly documented. Busck (1903) reported that he raised the adults from larvae collected from bird nests.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Monopis dorsistrigella is primarily found in eastern North America, with at least two records from as far west as Colorado and British Columbia. In the East, the range extends from extreme southern Canada (Manitoba to Prince Edward Island) and the New England states westward to Minnesota, Illinois, and Oklahoma, and southward to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. As of 2020, all of our records are from the Piedmont and 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: This species is univoltine. The adults have been observed from May through September outside of North Carolina, with a seasonal peak in July. As of 2020, our records extend from mid-June to early August, with a peak in July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The habitat is largely unknown. The larvae are presumably detritivores and are likely not strongly affiliated with any host plant or community type.
Larval Host Plants: The only reference to the feeding ecology is that of Busck (1903) who found the larvae in bird nests where they were presumably feeding of feathers, fecal material, or other organic debris.
Observation Methods: The adults regularly visit lights.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have only five site records as of 2020, which suggests that this species is uncommon in the state. Additional information is needed on the distribution and abundance of this species before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Monopis dorsistrigella - Skunkback Monopis Moth

Photos: 12

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-14
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2020-07-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-06-17
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-05-27
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-05-27
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-05-27
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-07-04
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2014-06-16
Warren Co.
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