Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 74 NC Records

Alypia octomaculata (Fabricius, 1775) - Eight-spotted Forester Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AgaristinaeP3 Number: 931979.00 MONA Number: 9314.00
Comments: Nine species are included in this genus from the United States and Argentina, a rather peculiar distribution! North Carolina has but a single species.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have not been barcoded but those from throughout the eastern states have (as octomaculata, langtonii and wittfeldii) and all are very similar to each other. The taxa langtonii and wittfeldii may just represent geographic variation although the former species does seem to be valid.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1960); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, strikingly marked Noctuid. The pattern found on this species is quite unique but Anania funebris, a pyraustid moth, seems to mimic that pattern (see photo for that species). The moth is diurnal and frequently found on flowers in the spring.
Wingspan: 30 mm (Forbes, 1960)
Adult Structural Features: Both male and female genitalia appear to have unique characters which will serve to differentiate them from other species in our region. Whether or not they differentiate our species from langtonii and wittfeldii remains to be demonstrated.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The caterpillar is typical for the group with encircling white, black and orange bands probably signaling unpalatability. Larvae rapidly drop from the foodplant when it is disturbed. Pest densities have been noted but are unusual.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found across the state except at the higher altitudes.
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 species is most common in the spring but even so, few are seen and we have little indication how common this species really is. The spring brood is followed by stragglers for several months but it is unclear whether emergence is staggered or there are multiple broods but fewer concentrations of attractive flowers later in the season so we just do not see them. Bryant (1982) had adults from a single batch of eggs hatch over a period of 4 years indicating there probably is a staggered emergence.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Usually found along the edges of fields and woodlands, particularly at spring blooming shrubs. Whether the females penetrate woodlands in search of foodplants appears to be unknown.
Larval Host Plants: Like many other Agaristine moths, this species seeks Grape, Virginia Creeper and Peppervine which themselves also seek woodland and field edges, however they can also be found in small clearings inside wooded areas.
Observation Methods: Adults will come to light but probably sparingly so. They are unrecorded from bait but readily visit flowers and are considered primarily diurnal.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Vitaceous Tangles
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is only infrequently recorded, but as a primarily day-flying species, it has not been effectively sampled by the light traps and baiting that are the main-stays of our systematic moth surveys. More diurnal searches are needed for this, as well as other species of day-flying moths. Currently, we have records from a wide area of the state and from a broad range of habitats. Consequently, it appears to be secure, if uncommon, across the state.

 Photo Gallery for Alypia octomaculata - Eight-spotted Forester Moth

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

Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-05-10
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-05-10
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: B. Fleming on 2020-05-01
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-04-12
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2020-04-06
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Jessie Summers on 2020-03-29
Lee Co.
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Recorded by: Salman Abdulali on 2020-03-18
Pitt Co.
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Recorded by: V. Jones, C. Bennett on 2019-07-04
Iredell Co.
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Recorded by: Jeff Beane on 2019-06-04
Wilkes Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-06-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips on 2019-05-14
Jackson Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Dowlan on 2018-07-14
Watauga Co.
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Recorded by: J. A. Anderson on 2018-06-06
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-05-19
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-05-19
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-05-19
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2018-05-09
Dare Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2018-05-08
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-05-09
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Tracy S. Feldman on 2016-04-28
Scotland Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2015-04-19
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: L. Amos on 2014-04-21
Vance Co.
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Recorded by: Jackie Nelson / Doug Blatny on 2013-06-19
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jackie Nelson / Doug Blatny on 2013-06-19
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: F. Williams, S. Williams on 2013-06-02
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Salman Abdulali on 2012-04-08
Pitt Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2011-04-26
Beaufort Co.
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