Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFDepressariidae Members:
Agonopterix Members:
27 NC Records

Agonopterix clemensella (Chambers, 1876) - No Common Name



view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: DepressariidaeSubfamily: DepressariinaeP3 Number: 420074.00 MONA Number: 862.00
Comments: Agonopterix is a large holarctic genus with more than 125 species, with most occurring in the Palearctic Region. Currently, there are 47 recognized species in North America. Our species are largely confined to the western mountains.
Species Status: Clarke (1941) noted that Agonopterix clemensella is externally very similar to a European species, A. heracliana. Based on comparisons of genitalia, he found no evidence that A. heracliana is present in the US.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Clemens, 1876; Clarke 1941.                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is based on descriptions by Clemens (1876), Clarke (1941), and Hodges (1974). The palps, head and antennae are brown to reddish brown. The labial palp is yellowish white with the second segment irrorated with fuscous exteriorly, and with a strong pink suffusion in the brush. The third segment has two black bands, including a relatively narrow one at the base and a broad one just below the apex. The forewing ground color varies from brown to reddish gray or reddish brown and is flecked with scattered yellowish white scales and fine dark spots that are more concentrated on the posterior half of the wing. The thorax and base of the forewing have an admixture of ashy gray and brownish scales that produce a light diffuse band behind the head that extends a short distance along the costa. Immediately adjoining this is a region of dark scales that quickly fade posteriorly. There are four small white discal spots on or near the cell. The posterior two (discal spots 'c' and 'd' of Forbes, 1923) are the largest, while the anterior two are sometimes masked by darker scales along their margins and are barely visible. The spots are aligned in a straight line, except for the most anterior spot (discal spot 'a') that is displaced slightly towards the costa. The costa and termen are blotched with alternating fuscous and yellowish-white spots.




Wingspan: 16-20 mm (Clarke, 1941).
Forewing Length: Madison Co.6.8-8.8 mm (Hodges, 1974).
Adult Structural Features: Clarke (1941) provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae are light green and rather non-descript. They feed on members of the carrot family, but very little is known about the larval life history and ecology. The pupae are dark brown.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Agonopterix clemensella is found in eastern North America, including many areas in southern Canada from Prince Edward Island west to Manitoba. In the US the range extends from the northeastern states westward to Minnesota. Farther south it is mostly found west of the Appalachians, including in Oklahoma, Texas, and Mississippi. As of 2020, all of our records are from lower elevations in the mountains. The North Carolina populations appear to be disjunct from the main range to the north and west.
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: The seasonal activity of adults tends to be bimodal. The adults overwinter and are sometimes active during extended bouts of warm winter weather. The main breeding bout occurs in late winter or spring. This is followed by a period of reduced activity in the summer, and renewed activity in late summer or early fall. It is uncertain if the latter reflects a second breeding bout or not. In North Carolina most adults appear at lights in February and March, then again from October through December.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The larvae feed on a wide variety of species in the carrot family that inhabit an equally diverse array of habitats. Some of the hosts are found in forested settings, while other prefer fields, roadsides, and other abandoned agricultural lands. The habitats range from semiaquatic to mesic or slightly drier conditions.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae are polyphagous and feed on species in the carrot family (Apiaceae). Robinson et al. (2010) list the following hosts: Bishop's Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria), Purple-stem Angelica (Angelica atropurpurea), Celery (Apium graveolens), Spotted Water-hemlock (Cicuta maculata), Canadian Honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis), Queen-Anne's-Lace (Daucus carota), Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), Cow-parsnip (H. maximum), Lovage (Levisticum officinale), Longstyle Sweet-cicely (Osmorhiza longistylis), Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), Clustered Black-snakeroot (Sanicula odorata), Hemlock Water-parsnip (Sium suave), Yellow Pimpernel (Taenidia integerrima), Heartleaf Golden-Alexanders (Zizia aptera) and Common Golden-Alexanders ( Z. aurea).
Observation Methods: The adults occasionally visit UV lights.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection:
Comments: As of 2020, we have only four site records that are all from the lower mountains. This is surprising given that the hosts of this polyphagous species occur throughout North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Agonopterix clemensella - No common name

Photos: 24

Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-03-21
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-03-06
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-03-06
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-03-11
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-02-10
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-11-26
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: JIm Petranka on 2020-11-20
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-07-02
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-28
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-12
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-09
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-03
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-02-25
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-02-11
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-02-03
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-12-28
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-12-09
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: on 2019-11-22
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-12-22
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-12-22
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-11-19
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-11-18
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-11-18
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-10-31
Madison Co.
Comment: