Moths of North Carolina
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Semioscopis Members:
21 NC Records

Semioscopis merriccella Dyar, 1902 - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: ElachistidaeSubfamily: DepressariinaeTribe: [Depressariini]P3 Number: 420127.00 MONA Number: 913.00
Comments: Semioscopis is a small genus with 13 recognized species, six of which occur in North America.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Clarke (1941); Hodges (1974)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The following is primarily based on the description by Clarke (1941). The labial palp is white and the second segment is suffused with blackish fuscous exteriorly. The third segment has a fuscous spot at the base anteriorly and a broad black sub-apical annulus. The antenna has a dark base, while the remainder is light fuscous with narrow and indistinct gray annulations. The head and thorax are gray, with the latter suffused with fuscous. The forewing is light gray to grayish brown and lightly shaded and strigulated with brown. The costa from the base to the middle of wing is slightly lighter. Beginning at the end of the cell there is a sinuous narrow black bar that widens anteriorly and continues to about one-third the wing length. The outwardly curved portion at the beginning of the cell is followed by a rapidly fading and spreading brownish shade. Between the discal portion of the bar and the costa, there is a short, poorly defined blackish-fuscous bar followed by a blackish-fuscous spot before the apex. A series of blackish-fuscous spots extends from the apex around the termen. The cilia are pale gray and lightly suffused with brown. The hindwing is shining gray with a fine terminal brown line. The cilia are lighter and shining, with a narrow sub-basal and two sub-terminal faint brown bands. The legs are shining creamy white and strongly overlaid with blackish fuscous except at the joints and on the hind tibia. The abdomen is sordid ochreous and faintly suffused with fuscous beneath.
Wingspan: 24-31 mm (Clarke, 1941)
Forewing Length: 11-15 mm (Hodges, 1974)
Adult Structural Features: Clarke (1941) provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. This species and S. packardella have very similar genitalia. They can be most easily separated based on the number and shape of the spines on the cornuti of males, and the number of inwardly directed projections of the signum of females (Hodges, 1974).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval ecology and life history are undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Semioscopis merriccella is primarily found in eastern North America, but scattered populations have been found out west in Washington, California, British Coulmbia, Alberta, and elsewhere. In the East, the range includes portions of southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec; Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) and the northeastern states westward to Minnesota and Illinois. The range extends as far south as northern Mississippi and northern Georgia. As of 2020, all of our records are from 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: Local populations are univoltine with a peak in seasonal activity between March and May. As of 2020, most of our records are from late March through April, with one late season record (2 June) from Roan Mountain.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The specific habitat requirements are poorly documented. We have records from the lower valleys to the highest peaks in the mountains, and most are associated with hardwood forests.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts are unknown. - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to 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: As of 2020, we have records from only six localities, suggesting that this species is uncommon in the state. We need additional data on its distribution and abundance before we can assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Semioscopis merriccella - No common name

Photos: 22

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-04-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-03-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-03-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-03-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-03-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2019-04-25
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-04-10
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-04-10
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-24
Madison Co.
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