Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGelechiidae Members: 23 NC Records

Pubitelphusa latifasciella (Chambers, 1875) - White-banded Telphusa Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Gelechioidea Family: GelechiidaeSubfamily: GelechiinaeTribe: GelechiiniP3 Number: 420768.00 MONA Number: 1857.00
Species Status: Lee and Brown (2013) combined two previously described species (Gelechia latifasciella; Concubina trigonalis) into a single redescribed species, Pubitelphusa latifasciella. Placing these in a new genus was warranted due to the very distinctive genitalia.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012; as Telphusa latifasciella); Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Lee and Brown (2013)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Marquis et al. (2019)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This species varies markedly in coloration and patterning, with two general color forms. The most striking has boldly marked black and white banding, while the other is lighter with heavy fuscous dusting and varying levels of light and darker banding. The following is based on the description by Forbes (1923) and the redescription by Lee and Brown (2013). The head is light gray or off-white and sprinkled with dark gray scales. The antenna is slightly more than half the length of the forewing, and is off-white with dark brown to blackish annulations. The labial palp is off-white with dark gray or blackish annulations. The second segment has three annuli: one at the base, one beyond the middle, and one before the apex. The third segment has one annulation near the base and a second beyond the middle. The thorax and tegula are dark gray and sparsely sprinkled with off-white scales, and there are tufts of raised scales on the lateral mesoscutum. The forewing pattern varies markedly, but typically consists of a dark basal band that covers the basal one-fourth of the wing. This is followed by a broad and paler antemedial band. It is about as wide as the breadth of the wing, and is edged on both sides with two tufts of raised brown to black scales. This is followed by a darker, postmedial band of about the same width that is often weak or broken in the middle. This band has two raised scale tufts on the posterior margin. A whitish shade is present beyond it towards the costa. In the black forms, the basal and antemedian bands are black and the scale tufts are not readily evident. The lighter area that follows the postmedial band is sometimes organized into a narrow, whitish fascia that is jagged. The banded lighter morphs are heavily dusted with light brown to fuscous coloration and the darker scale patches are prominent. Some of the lighter forms lack banding altogether, and are uniformly dark gray to fuscous, with conspicuous scale patches. The wing tip has a series of rather faint dark spots with lighter edging. The hindwing and the fringe varies from gray to yellowish brown. The unbanded forms superficially resemble Pseudotelphusa quercinigracella, but the latter has a well-developed, blackish antemedial fascia.
Forewing Length: 11.0–14.0 mm (Lee and Brown, 2013)
Adult Structural Features: Lee and Brown (2013) provide detailed descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia. The male genitalia are distinctive in having the uncus with dense setae on the ventral surface, the gnathos with a club-shaped mesial projection, and the ventral sclerite with a pair of processes.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larva feed on oak leaves, often within a leaf roll that is constructed by rolling one-third to one-half of a leaf and binding it with silk. The larvae occasionally feed between young oak leaves that are tied together (Marquis et al., 2019). The head capsule of the mature larva is pale brown, and all of the thoracic legs are pale. The prothoracic shield and abdomen are yellow, and the digestive tract shows through the body as an internal medial dark streak (Marquis et al., 2019).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Pubitelphusa latifasciella is found in eastern North America from Vermont, New York, Ontario, and Quebec southward to Florida, and westward to central Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. As of 2021, we have scattered records from throughout all three physiographic provinces, with most from the Piedmont.
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: Adult records extend from March through August in areas outside of North Carolina, with a seasonal peak in May through July. As of 2021, we have records from mid-May through late July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations depend on oaks, particularly species that are found in mesic to somewhat drier sites. These include semi-wooded residential neighborhoods, as well as oak-hickory forests, mixed pine-hardwood forests, and other forest communities with oaks.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae specialize on oaks and use a variety of species (Robinson et al., 2010; Marquis et al. 2019). The documented hosts include White Oak (Quercus alba), Scarlet Oak (Q. coccinea), Shingle Oak (Q. imbricaria), Post Oak (Q. stellata), Blackjack Oak (Q. marilandica), Chinquapin Oak (Q. muehlenbergii), Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra), and Black Oak (Q. velutina). Reports of this species feeding on Vaccinium are unsubstantiated and are probably incorrect.
Observation Methods: The adults are frequently collected at lights, and the larvae have been collected within leaf rolls and between the tied leaves of oaks.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S3S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: As of 2021, we have scattered records from throughout the state. This species appears to be relatively secure based on its statewide distribution and use of oaks as hosts.

 Photo Gallery for Pubitelphusa latifasciella - White-banded Telphusa Moth

Photos: 22

Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-06-08
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-27
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-27
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-21
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2021-05-15
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-05-08
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-05-08
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-05-03
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-14
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-07
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-05-23
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-05-13
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-06-05
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-06-05
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-16
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-16
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-05-16
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-05-16
Mecklenburg Co.
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