Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 216 NC Records

Nemoria lixaria (Guenée, [1858]) - Red-bordered Emerald



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: GeometrinaeTribe: NemoriiniP3 Number: 910613.00 MONA Number: 7033.00
Comments: 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.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalistTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948), Ferguson (1969, 1985)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Ferguson (1985); Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: 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 present and the fringes are white but conspicuously checkered with bright red. Strong, black discal dots are usually present on both sets of wings. Winter specimens may have a brownish edging to the lines or the wings may be suffused with a blackish shade, but no reddish cool season forms exist similar to those of N. bistriaria. The abdomen has three large white spots (sometimes more) surrounded by red. The green summer form of bistriria is very similar in size, color, and pattern, but has a much straighter and more even postmedian line and a less contrastingly checkered fringe.
Forewing Length: 10.5-13 mm, males; 12-15 mm, females (Ferguson, 1985)
Adult Structural Features: The uncus in the males has an expanded, scoop-shaped tip that easily distinguishes this species from all others in this genus. The females have longer palps than in bistriaria, a trait that can be used in diagnosing worn specimens (Ferguson, 1985).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are variegated with dark brown streaks on a light brown ground color (Ferguson, 1985). As is typical for this genus, larvae possess large dorsolateral appendages on segments A2, A3, and A4, with smaller ones located on the other abdominal and thoracic segments. The processes on A2 and A3 are larger and more acutely pointed than in other species, whose processes tend to be more even in size (Ferguson, 1985). Lixaria also lacks the dorsal spots found in those species and has three dark lines running in between the dorsolateral processes. See Wagner (2005) for an illustration.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found statewide, but less commonly in 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: Adults can be found at nearly any season in North Carolina, although less commonly in the winter. Possibly has three peaks in abundance.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: 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 upland stands in the mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Probably polyphagous. Wagner (2005) lists Oak, Red Maple, and Sweetfern. Ferguson (1985) reported that captive larvae fed well on oaks, particularly on Red Oaks.
Observation Methods: Comes well to blacklights but we have no records from bait or from flowers.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: 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.

 Photo Gallery for Nemoria lixaria - Red-bordered Emerald

72 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-05-16
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2020-05-03
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-04-21
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-11-26
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-11-06
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2019-10-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-10-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2019-10-26
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-10-15
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-10-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: L. M. Carlson on 2019-10-12
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-10-10
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-10-05
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2019-09-24
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-09-22
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-09-15
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: L. M. Carlson on 2019-07-29
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-22
Guilford Co.
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