Moths of North Carolina
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Orthosia rubescens
Ruby Quaker Moth
MONA_number: 10487.00
The ground color of the forewings is luteous, variably overlain by reddish-brown, ranging from predominantly reddish to completely suffused with gray (Forbes, 1954). Usually heavily marked with reddis............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Orthosia hibisci
Speckled Green Fruitworm Moth
MONA_number: 10495.00
Very similar in coloration and patterning to hibisci but usually has a well-marked conspicuous pale subterminal preceded by dark bars.............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Orthosia alurina
Gray Quaker Moth
MONA_number: 10491.00
Very similar in coloration and patterning to hibisci but usually has an inconspicuous pale subterminal preceded by much heavier dark bars.............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Orthosia revicta
Subdued Quaker Moth
MONA_number: 10490.00
The ground color of the forewings is usually dull, light red-brown, but light blue-gray in some forms (Forbes, 1954). The orbicular and reniform have a reddish outer line and a pale inner line, filled............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Orthosia garmani
Garman's Quaker Moth
MONA_number: 10488.00
The ground color of the forewings is dull brown or reddish-brown, with the terminal area contrastingly lighter (Forbes, 1954). The lines and spots are usually fairly inconspicuous, although darker in ............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
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Meropleon titan
MONA_number: 9426.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Actrix nyssaecolella
Tupelo Leaffolder Moth
MONA_number: 5818.00
"[nyssaecolella and dissimulatrix] can only be told apart by dissection. Both occur in SC and TN" (Scholtens, 2017) ............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Doleromorpha porphyria
MONA_number: 276.00
.........Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Lithophane bethunei
Bethune's Pinion
MONA_number: 9887.00
One of 51 species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010, 2015), 25 of which have been recorded in North Carolina............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Chimoptesis pennsylvaniana
Filigreed Moth
MONA_number: 3273.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
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Cydia marita
MONA_number: 3448.20
...Woodlands containing pines (Brown and Jaeger, 2014)...Probably feeds on pines (Brown and Jaeger, 2014).........
Nemoria lixaria
Red-bordered Emerald
MONA_number: 7033.00
One of 35 species in this genus that occur in North America (Ferguson, 1985), nine of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Ferguson (1969) included lixaria within the Lixaria Species Group (Group V), which comprises only lixaria and saturiba.A medium-sized Emerald. Lixaria has fairly dark green wings, with white, sinuous to dentate lines; the postmedian is somewhat excurved, running parallel to the outer margin. A red terminal line is pre...Lixaria has been recorded from a wide range of hardwood forests in North Carolina, including Maritime Forests on the barrier islands, riverine and non-riverine swamp forests, xeric sandhills, and upla...Probably polyphagous. Wagner (2005) lists Oak, Red Maple, and Sweetfern. Ferguson (1985) reported that captive larvae fed well on oaks, particularly on Red Oaks....Comes well to blacklights but we have no records from bait or from flowers....Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.G5 [S5]Given its wide occurrence and use of multiple, common host plants and habitat types across the state, this species appears to be secure in North Carolina....
Strobisia iridipennella
Iridescent Strobisia Moth
MONA_number: 2253.00
...............
Chimoptesis gerulae
MONA_number: 3272.00
The palps, antennae, and the crest on the crown of the head are grayish fuscous; the lower part is whitish (Heinrich, 1923); unlike C. pennsylvaniana, the palps and crests are not contrasting. The gro............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Pseudexentera unidentified species
MONA_number: 3258.01
............
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Sereda tautana
Speckled Sereda Moth
MONA_number: 3425.00
.........Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Phigalia titea
Half-wing Moth
MONA_number: 6658.00
One of four members of this genus that occur in North America, three of which are found in North CarolinaPhigalia are among the very few geometrids that fly during mid-winter to early spring. They can be distinguished from Alsophila and Paleacrita, which also fly during this period and are similarly pal...Most of our records come primarily from fairly dry habitats, including maritime forests and sandhills in the Coastal Plain, and dry ridges in the Mountains. However, we also have records from more me...Polyphagous on woody trees and shrubs. Wagner et al. (2001) specifically list apple, basswood, birch, blueberry, cranberry, elm, hickory, maple, oak and poplar...Adults have short, non-functional mouthparts (Forbes, 1948); consequently, they do not come to bait or show up at flowers. They appear to come fairly well to blacklights, with large numbers occasiona...Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public landsG5 [S5]Given its wide range of larval host plants, broad habitat associations, and extensive occurrence across the state, this species appears to be secure....
Plutella xylostella
Diamondback Moth
MONA_number: 2366.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Psaphida styracis
Fawn Sallow
MONA_number: 10016.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Zale bethunei
Bethune's Zale
MONA_number: 8705.00
One of 39 species in this genus that occur north of Mexico, 23 of which have been recorded in North CarolinaBelongs to a group of pine-feeding Zales, all of which possess a sharp, outward-pointing tooth on the antemedian line where the radial vein crosses. Bethunei is fairly easy to recognize, being reddis...Scrub Pine grows typically on dry upland sites, including old fields (Weakley, 2012); it is also common on badly eroded sites or other areas with severe soil disturbance. Our records come primarily fr...Monophagous, feeding only on Scrub Pine (Pinus virginiana) (Forbes, 1954; Wagner et al., 2011)...May come poorly to lights, which could explain the scarcity of records for what should be a fairly common species. Probably comes well to bait, like other members of this genus....Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public landsG5 [SU]Although seemingly an uncommon species in North Carolina, too little is known about the distribution and habitat affinities of bethunei to estimate its conservation needs....
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Psaphida grandis
Gray Sallow
MONA_number: 10013.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Feralia major
Major Sallow
MONA_number: 10007.00
An isolated genus with 7 species worldwide, 1 palearctic, the other 6 nearctic, with 3 occurring in North Carolina.This spectacularly patterned moth is perfectly camouflaged for life among the moss and lichen dominated pine forests across the state. Feralia major is similar in pattern to F. jocosa and comstocki b...North Carolina records range from xeric, coastal sandhills dominated by Longleaf Pines, to Piedmont reservoir shorelines, where Loblolly is the most common species of pine, to Cove Forests in the Moun...Probably associated with hard pines, particularly Shortleaf, Virginia and Pond (and maybe Pitch). Wagner et al (2011) also list White Pine but that seems unlikely to be a major foodplant in North Car...Comes to light but no records from bait....Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.G5 [SU]We have few records for this species, probably due to its late winter flight period. However, it occupies a wide range in North Carolina and is associated with common host plants; it is therefore lik...
Psaphida thaxterianus
MONA_number: 10020.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Tricholita signata
Signate Quaker Moth
MONA_number: 10627.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Eupsilia tristigmata
Three-Spotted Sallow
MONA_number: 9935.00
A genus of the Northern Hemisphere with some 17 described species, including 8 in North America, with several more about to be described. North Carolina has 6 described and 1 undescribed species, some of which are extremely similar in wing pattern.One of the five species of Eupsilia in our area with dentate postmedian lines, tristigmata is usually recognizable by its strongly mottled orange and brown forewings (Forbes, 1954). This species, lik...North Carolina records come primarily from mesic sites, including riparian forest and lakeshores....This species appears to prefer cherry and heath family species. Although there are many records from other common trees, these may refer to what captive larvae will eat and not what they select in na...Adults readily come to bait and have been collected in light traps....Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.GNR [SU]Currently, there are too few records from North Carolina to determine the distribution, abundance, host plants, and habitat affinities of this species. More surveys need to be conducted in the late f...
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Prodoxus decipiens
Bogus Yucca Moth
MONA_number: 200.10
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Agnorisma bugrai
Collared Dart Moth
MONA_number: 10954.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Agonopterix pulvipennella
MONA_number: 867.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Cerastis tenebrifera
Reddish Speckled Dart Moth
MONA_number: 10994.00
The genus Cerastis has undergone significant change in the past 20 years, primarily due to its fusion with Metalepsis. It now contains about 13 species almost equally split between the Nearctic (mostly Metalepsis) and the Palearctic (mostly Cerastis). The combined genus is closely related to Choephora. We have two species in North Carolina, both of which fly early in the spring.The forewing is brick red with circular grey reniform and orbicular spots. There is a distinct black rectangular spot on the forewing costa in C. fishii which is absent in C. tenebrifera. Sexes are si...Our records come almost entirely from hardwood-dominated forests, with almost none from more open habitats, such as maritime dunes, shrub-dominated peatlands, Longleaf Pine habitats, or old fields. Ha...Probably polyphagous. In captivity, larvae accept a wide range of both forbs (e.g., lettuce and dandelion -- Forbes, 1954; Crumb, 1956) and trees (e.g., Cherry, Birch, Willow -- McCabe, in Wagner et ...Adults come to lights but not to bait but may come to flowers (of which there are very few during its flight period). However, a British member of the same genus does occur at willow blossoms (Porter...Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.G5 [S5]Although more needs to be learned about the host plants and habitat associations of this species, it is found widely throughout the state and occupies a wide range of common habitats; it thus appears ...
Paonias astylus
Huckleberry Sphinx
MONA_number: 7826.00
A Holarctic genus of 4 species of which 3 occur in North America and North Carolina. Two are among our most common species. With narrow forewings that cover only the eyespot on the hindwings when at rest,leaving the outer margin of the hindwing projecting forward, this is clearly a Paonias species. The relatively smooth b...Our records come from a wide variety of heath-containing habitats. These include Wet Pine Flatwoods, Pocosins, and dry-to-xeric Pine-Scrub Oak Sandhills in the Coastal Plain; dry Pine-Oak-Heath habit...Stenophagous. Feeds on Blueberries (Vaccinium) and Huckleberries (Gaylussacia) both in the Ericaceae. Larvae have not been found in North Carolina so we do not know which species of blueberries or hu...Like other members of the genus adults of this species are attracted to lights but have not been recorded visiting flowers nor coming to baits....Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.G4G5 [S4]Once considered to be quite rare, this species is taken in light traps with regularity each year. Although a specialist on heath-containing habitats, it is not restricted with regard to moisture regim...
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Epimartyria auricrinella
Goldcap Moss-eater Moth
MONA_number: 1.00
............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Manduca quinquemaculatus
Five-spotted Hawk Moth
MONA_number: 7776.00
A large Neotropical genus (63 species) of which 4 occur in North Carolina. This is our second most common of 4 species.A large, grayish-brown sphinx moth; sexes similar. Less common than M. sexta with which it is frequently confused. It is grayer with a crisp, distinct pattern whereas the pattern in M. sexta is brow...Found throughout the state in open agricultural lands....Like M. sexta this species prefers Solanaceous species, with caterpillars frequently found on tobacco, tomato and potato plants....Adults visit flowers at night, especially those with long corollas. They readily come to strong lights, such as mercury-vapor, but only in small numbers to 15 watt UV lights. They do not to come to ...Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public landsG5 [S5]Rarely taken in numbers yet one's tomato plants indicate they are not uncommon. Like many sphingids found in urban settings, they are not attracted to weak lighting and are able to co-exist in our ci...
Rhyacionia granti
Jack Pine Tip Moth
MONA_number: 2879.10
...............
Argyrotaenia hodgesi
MONA_number: 3598.10
The ground color of the forewings is fairly uniform buff-brown, crossed by three irregular bands of orange-brown: basal patch; a median band that is that is constricted and somewhat widened and angled............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Argyrotaenia velutinana
Red-banded Leafroller Moth
MONA_number: 3597.00
The ground color varies from buff or pale ochraceous to pale gray or white. A median band is well developed and usually dark reddish, often with purplish gray shadings or patches of black. A dark suba............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
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Argyrotaenia tabulana
Jack Pine Tube Moth
MONA_number: 3603.00
According to Obraztsov (1961), specimens from North Carolina and Florida belong to a form in which the forewing markings are browner, mixed occasionally with black. The specimens from North Carolina s......Feeds on pines, including Loblolly (Obraztsov, 1961)......Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Argyrotaenia floridana
MONA_number: 3599.00
According to the description given by Obraztsov (1961), "the forewing markings which are more sharply outlined in floridana than in velutinana; the forewing ground has a shining gloss; the inner borde............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Argyrotaenia kimballi
Kimball's Leafroller Moth
MONA_number: 3600.00
According to Obraztsov (1961) kimballi differs from velutinana in having the basal area of forewings much paler along the costal margin and in the costal spot between the median fascia and wing apex ............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Orgyia antiqua
Rusty Tussock Moth
MONA_number: 8308.00
One of ten species in this genus that occur in North America, four of which have been recorded in North Carolina. The subspecies in our area is most likely O. a. nova, which is found over most of North America other than the Pacific Northwest and Alaska (Ferguson, 1978).Males are a rusty chocolate brown on the forewings, with a well-developed, contrasting white tornal spot. The hindwings are a brighter rusty brown. Females have only rudimentary wings, similar to th...The North Carolina specimens come from high elevations along the Blue Ridge. ...Polyphagous, feeding on a wide variety of both conifers and deciduous trees and shrubs. Ferguson (1978) notes the following among the most commonly reported: Fir, Spruce, Pine, Hemlock, Birch, Alder...Females lack wings and males fly primarily in the daytime; although they have been occasionally found at night (Ferguson, 1978), sampling using lights or bait is probably ineffective. Males should be...Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.GNR S1S2With only our three larval records for this species south of New York (one confirmed by Wagner, 2005), this species would appear to be an extremely rare disjunct from the far North. Apart from elevat...
Eupsilia devia
Lost Sallow
MONA_number: 9939.00
A genus of the Northern Hemisphere with some 17 described species, including 8 in North America, with several more about to be described. North Carolina has 6 described and 1 undescribed species, some of which are extremely similar in wing pattern.Adults easily distinguished by their liliac-brown color, with the basal area of the forewings frosted with grey. The transverse lines are pale and even, not dentate as in other species of Eupsilia ex...Unlike the other members of this genus, this species is apt to be found in open areas near woodlands....Larvae feed on Asters and Goldenrods and form shelters by silking together leaves near the terminal shoot (Wagner et al, 2011). ...Adults readily come to bait and have been collected in light traps, usually as singleton. The apparent rarity of this species may reflect a reluctance to respond to ultraviolet light. ...Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.GNR [SU]We have only a few records for this species, which may be a disjunct from the North. However, habitats and host plants do not appear to be limiting factors and more late and early season sampling nee...
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Corythophora unidentified species
MONA_number: 476.01
............
Corythophora aurea
MONA_number: 476.00
The sole described member of this genus in North AmericaFrom Braun (1915): Head and appendages very pale yellow, flap of scales on basal segment of antennae somewhat deeper yellow. Thorax pale yellow or white, patagia golden yellow. Forewings golden yellow............Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Feralia jocosa
Joker Moth
MONA_number: 10005.00
An isolated genus with 7 species worldwide, 1 palearctic, the other 6 nearctic, with 3 occurring in North Carolina.This spectacularly patterned moth is perfectly camouflaged for life among the mossy evergreens and lichens of our mountain forests. It is similar to Feralia major and both species have normal green a...Mesic montane forest with abundant hemlock, including Cove Forests at mid elevations and Northern Harwoods a higher elevation....Balsam fir, hemlock, spruce and other evergreens (Maier et al, 2004) but there is probably specificity. No information on foodplant preferences in North Carolina but larvae of Feralia have been found...Comes to light but no records from bait....Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.GNR [SU]We have few records for this species, probably due in part to its late winter flight period. To the extent that this species is dependent on Hemlock or Fraser Fir, it may be highly vulnerable tot he e...
Acleris robinsoniana
Robinson's Acleris Moth
MONA_number: 3536.00
.........Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands....
Hellinsia linus
MONA_number: 6195.00
............
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Entephria lagganata
MONA_number: 7303.00
One of 44 species in this genus that occur worldwide and one of 11 that occur in North America (Troubridge, 1997). Nearctic species in this genus are mainly found in the far north and west, with only E. separata, aurata, and lagganata recorded in the East. The markings are a pale yellowish brown. The crosslines are very fine and the central and submarginal areas are not noticeably darker than the rest of the wing (Taylor, 1907).............GNR [SH]Like Entephria separata, this species appears to be an extreme Pleistocene relict, recorded at only a single high elevation site in North Carolina and, again like separata, is known from only from a s...
Entephria separata
MONA_number: 7306.20
One of 44 species in this genus that occur worldwide and one of 11 that occur in North America (Troubridge, 1997). Nearctic species are mainly found in the far north and west, with only E. separata, aurata, and lagganata occurring in the East. Entephria separata is a medium-sized Carpet, with slate- to brownish-gray forewings marked with the usual pattern of narrow wavy lines. The antemedian and postmedian lines are both white and scallope...This species inhabits boreal forests in Canada. The habitat at the summit of Mt. Mitchell consists of Spruce-Fir Forest and Northern Hardwoods....Apparently unknown (Ferguson, 1997)...This species is believed to be nocturnal (Troubridge, 1997) and probably comes to lights....Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation does not confer any legal protection, however, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.G4 S1->[SH]This species, along with several others, appears to be a Pleistocene relict, whose range has retreated since the end of the last glaciation to the far north. It has not been found on any other high el...
Paleacrita merriccata
White-spotted Cankerworm Moth
MONA_number: 6663.00
The genus is limited to North America and contains three species of which two occur in North Carolina. Our two species look unlike most other geometrids and can be distinguished by the light reniform spot in P. merriccata which is absent in P. vernata. Females of both species are flightless. In merric...A number of our records come from lakeshores, but at least a few come from Longleaf Pine savannas or wooded sites of uncertain habitats but apparently located away from impoundments...The foodplants of this species are unknown but P. vernata is known to be polyphagous on woody trees...Adults come to light but not to bait....Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.G4 [S4?]Since few people are searching for moths during cold days in January and February, our records undoubtedly under represent the species status in our state. The causes of population outbreaks and thei...
Paleacrita vernata
Spring Cankerworm Moth
MONA_number: 6662.00
The genus is limited to North America and contains three species of which two occur in North Carolina. Our two species look unlike most other geometrids and can be distinguished by the light reniform spot in P. merriccata which is absent in P. vernata. Females of both species are flightless. In vernat...Found throughout the state in wooded areas, particularly in urban areas. Far less common in isolated woodlands....Polyphagus consuming a wide variety of hardwood trees with oaks being a favorite....Adults come to light but not to bait. Females are difficult to locate but perch on tree trunks where they will deposit the egg clutches. Adults are often seen at convenience stores where they are the...Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.GNR [S5?]Since few people are searching for moths during cold days in January and February, our records undoubtedly under represent the species status in our state. The causes of population outbreaks and thei...
Phigalia strigataria
Small Phigalia Moth
MONA_number: 6660.00
One of four members of this genus that occur in North America, three of which are found in North CarolinaPhigalia are among the very few geometrids that fly during mid-winter to early spring. Males can be distinguished from Alsophila and Paleacrita, which also fly during this period and are similarly pa...Appears to occupy wetter habitats than the other two species of Phigalia, occuring more often in floodplain forests in both the Coastal Plain and Piedmont. However, it also occurs in maritime scrub h...Polyphagous on hardwood trees and shrubs; Wagner et al. (2001) specifically list blueberry, chestnut, elm, hazelnut, maple, oak, and willow. In the NC Coastal Plain, Sullivan has found larvae on Highb...Adults have short, non-functional mouthparts (Forbes, 1948); consequently, they do not come to bait or show up at flowers. They appear to come fairly well to blacklights but usually only in small num...Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public landsG5 [S5]This species appears to be broadly distributed in the state and occupies a wide range of habitats. It thus appears to be secure....