Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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Cryptothelea Members:
3 NC Records

Cryptothelea gloverii (Packard, 1869) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Tineoidea Family: PsychidaeSubfamily: PsychinaeP3 Number: 300012.00 MONA Number: 442.00
Comments: The family Psychidae contains as many as 1,350 species that are found worldwide. The females of many species are flightless, and the larvae of all species live in constructed cases or bags, hence the name bagworms. The genus Cryptothelea contains 28 species that are found worldwide, primarily in temperate and subtropical regions. There are two species in North America.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Davis (1964)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The male has broad, rounded wings and pectinate antennae that have 22-24 segments. The head, thorax, abdomen and wings are all uniformly dark to brownish fuscous (Davis, 1964). The pectinations on the antenna are rather stout and blunt. They have scattered hairs that are slightly appressed, short, and approximately equal in length to the diameter of the pectinations from which they arise. The discal scales are mostly elongate and narrowly oblanceolate with sharply acute apices. The wingless females are whitish and live in cases that are 14-18 mm long and 5-6 mm wide. They are composed of silk and are either bare, or ornamented with fragments of insect scales, bark, fruit rinds, leaves, and other debris. Davis (1964) noted that the short, somewhat appressed, antennal sensory hairs of C. gloverii cause the antenna to have a somewhat "stubby" appearance that is apparently a unique feature among New World psychids. Cryptothelea nigrita is a similar species and can be separated by the antennal pectinations which have sensory hairs that are erect and 1.5-2X the diameter of the pectinations on which they are borne. This is a more southern form that has yet to be discovered in North Carolina.
Wingspan: 14-18 mm for male (Davis, 1964)
Forewing Length: 9-10 mm TL for female (Davis, 1964)
Adult Structural Features: Davis (1960) has illustrations of the male genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: The larvae live in silk cases that are covered with environmental debris and are omnivorous. We are unaware of any detailed studies of the larval ecology and life history.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Davis (1964) reported that this species is widely distributed through the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, from South Carolina south to the Central American Ranges of Guatemala and Honduras. As of 2020, we have records from three sites in North Carolina at the northern limit of this species range.
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)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: The adults can be found year-round in Florida (Heppner, 2003) bur mostly from May to October elsewhere. As of 2020, our records span from late May through early August.
Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants: The larvae feed on scale insects (Villanueva et al., 2005) as well as a wide variety of plant taxa. The known plant genera that serve as hosts include Acacia, Achillea, Carya, Celtis, Citrus, Crataegus, Diospyros (include Diospyros virginiana), Erythrina, Parkinsonia, Persea, Prosopis, Psidium, Quercus, Rosa, Spondias and several other genera (Davis, 1964, Heppner, 2003). - View
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally visit lights, and the larvae and cases can be found on the host species.
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 and abundance of this species to assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Cryptothelea gloverii - No common name

Photos: 4

Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2019-07-26
Cumberland Co.
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2019-07-26
Cumberland Co.
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2019-07-26
Cumberland Co.
Recorded by: Tom Sanders on 2011-08-04
Mecklenburg Co.