Moths of North Carolina
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Pelecystola Members:
15 NC Records

Pelecystola nearctica Davis & Davis, 2009 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Tineoidea Family: TineidaeSubfamily: HieroxestinaeTribe: [Hieroxestini]P3 Number: 300217.00 MONA Number: 434.10
Comments: The genus Pelecystola contains seven widely scattered species known from the Palearctic, Indomalayan, and Ethiopian regions, as well as one from eastern North America (Davis and Davis, 2009).
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Davis and Davis (2009)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based on the description by Davis and Davis (2009). The head is mostly cream-colored, with the most caudal scales of the occiput fuscous. The antenna is dark brown to fuscous. The labial palp is cream mesally and dark grayish brown laterally, with 3–5 long, fuscous bristles arising dorsolaterally on segment two. The dorsum of the thorax is fuscous, but more light grayish-brown to brown posteriorly. The forewing is predominantly fuscous (often appearing blackish depending on the light angle), and is lightly marked with numerous small cream to whitish spots on the apical third. In addition, a small pale spot occurs at about one-third the wing length near the middle of the wing. There are two relatively large cream spots (sometimes fused) near the middle at about two-thirds the wing length that are surrounded by blackish scales. Just behind these are a series of cream to whitish spots that often vaguely form a broad, angulated post-median band. A final set of spots extends from the sub-apical region of the costa around the termen before terminating on the apical end of the inner margin. The terminal fringe is dark gray. The hindwing is dark grayish brown and the fringe light grayish brown with dark brown basal band. The fore- and midlegs are mostly fuscous dorsally, and the hindlegs dark brown to steely-gray dorsally. The coxa of the mid- and hindlegs are mostly white, and the apices of all tibiae and tarsomeres are cream to light brown. The abdomen is fuscous to steely-gray dorsally and laterally, and light brown to cream ventrally. This is a rather distinctive tineid with a cream-colored head, dark body, and cream to whitish spotting on the apical third. The forewing often has a blackish or velvety blackish sheen depending on the light angle.
Forewing Length: 5.4–6.2 mm for males; 7.0–8.5 mm for females (Davis and Davis, 2009)
Adult Structural Features: Davis and Davis (2009) have detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Pelecystola nearctica is found in eastern North America in extreme southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec) and much of the eastern US. In the US the range extends from Massachusetts southward to southern Florida and westward to eastern Texas, Arkansas, and Illinois. We have records from all three physiographic provinces in the state.
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 documented from April through November in areas outside of North Carolina, with a seasonal peak in activity in June. As of 2020, we have records from mid-April through August. Populations appear to be univoltine, with Coastal Plain populations breeding several weeks before those in the mountains.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The larvae have never been observed and the preferred habitats are unknown. Many of our records are from forested or semi-forested sites.
Larval Host Plants: Given that very few teneids feed on living vegetation, P. nearctica is very likely a detritivore or fungivore.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
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 currently do not have sufficient information on the distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements of this species to assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Pelecystola nearctica - No common name

Photos: 5

Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-06-11
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-10
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-10
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2020-05-25
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-09-06
Cabarrus Co.