Habitats of North Carolina
Habitat Group:
Habitat Type:
Members of Upland Hardwood Forests:
« »
Upland Hardwood Forests
General Dry-Xeric Hardwood Forests
General Description This habitat consists of dry upland forests composed mainly of oaks, hickories, and other plant species that are tolerant of dry-to-xeric conditions, rocky or sandy soils, and occasional fires. In the Piedmont, this habitat is associated with monadnocks and other steep, and rocky ridges. In the Coastal Plain, it includes xerophytic hardwoods and shrubs found on sand ridges. In the Mountains, this habitat is widespread on south- and west-facing slopes and along rocky ridge crests.

This habitat intersects with several other much more restricted types but its Determining Species occur in at least two of the state's physiographic provinces, with some occurring in both Maritime Forests on the Barrier Islands and on well-insolated slopes in the Blue Ridge. Species of xerophytic pines and heaths have similar distributions but we include those in separate habitats.

Determining Species include the most wide-ranging, xerophytic hardwood trees in the state, as well as a few shrub and herb species that have a similar distribution. Animal species included herbivores that are specialists on the particular plant members of this habitat, as well as a few species, such as Eastern Fox Squirrel and Boll's Locust that are found primarily in dry, open hardwoods.

Abiotic Factors Geographic Regions: Lower Coastal Plain to High Mountains. USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-8. Landform: ridges and slopes. Slope Aspect: occurs primarily on south- and west-facing slopes aspects as well as on ridges. Soil Moisture: Dry to xeric. Soil texture: rocky, loamy, or sandy. Soil pH: acidic. Soil Nutrient Content: relatively poor.Microclimate: Warm to cool; dry to xeric. Hydrological Features: springs, seeps, and streams are scarce to absent. Flood Frequency: the ridges and upper slopes occupied by this habitat never flood. Fire Frequency: frequent in the sandhills, occasional in the Piedmont and Mountains. Drought Frequency: regular to occasional. Ice Storm Damage: moderate in the mountains, low elsewhere. Wind Storm Damage: moderate. Insolation: this habitat occurs primarily on very well insolated slopes and ridge tops; the canopy is typically open, allowing insolation of the lower strata

Biotic Structure Vegetation Type: open woodlands. Strata: shrub thickets may be present but herbaceous species are usually sparse. Shelter: woody debris and leaf litter are generally plentiful except where fire frequency is high

Co-evolved Species Groups Phagic and Competitory Symbioses:
Carya pallida and other xeropytic hickories // Catocala consors
Carya tomentosa // Catocala ulalume
Castanea species-Quercus species // Dyseriocrania griseocapitell
Robinia nana-Robinia hispida // Heliomata infulata
Quercus ilicifolia // Catocala herodias
Xerophytic Oak species // Acronicta albarufa-Cicinnus melsheimeri-Hemileuca maia-Hyparpax aurora-Hyperstrotia flaviguttata-Psaphida styracis-Erynnis brizo-Satyrium edwardsii-Satyrium favonius-Cyrtolobus inermis-Cyrtolobus ovatus-Smilia camelus

Mutualistic Symbioses:
Satyrium edwardsii // Formica integra // Smilia camelus
This group represents a multiple-symbiotic complex. Edwards Hairstreak is associated with xeric oaks that are its larval food plants, but it also requires the presence of certain species of Formica ants that tend the larvae of this butterfly in return for their production of honeydew. These same ants are often involved in a similar mutualistic relationship with the nymphs of Membracid treehoppers, particularly Smilia camelus (Weber and Nielson, 1984).

Determining Species
Taxa Global RankState RankProbability of Extirpation (PE)
Acronicta albarufa - Barrens Daggermoth G3G4S1S20.1284
Acronicta lithospila - Streaked Dagger G5S40.0007
Antaeotricha albulella GNRSU0.0020
Antaeotricha decorosella GNRSH0.00
Catocala consors - Consort Underwing G4S10.3584
Catocala herodias - Herodias Underwing G3S10.3584
Catocala similis - Similar Underwing G5S40.0007
Catocala ulalume - Ulalume Underwing G4S3S40.0020
Cicinnus melsheimeri - Melsheimer's Sack-bearer Moth G4S30.0058
Heliomata infulata - Rare Spring Moth G3G4S2S30.0164
Hemileuca maia - Buck Moth G5S40.0007
Hyparpax aurora - Pink Prominent G5S40.0007
Hyperstrotia flaviguttata - Yellow-spotted Graylet Moth G4S40.0007
Lytrosis permagnaria G3G4S2S30.0164
Menesta melanella GNRSU0.0020
Morrisonia mucens G4G5S3S40.0020
Nemoria bifilata - White-barred Emerald Moth G4S30.0058
Psaphida styracis - Fawn Sallow G5S40.0007
Renia fraternalis - Fraternal Renia Moth G4S4S50.0002
Stenoporpia polygrammaria - Faded Gray Geometer GUS1S20.1284
Ulolonche modesta - Modest Quaker Moth G5S3S4
Zale calycanthata - Double-banded Zale G5S3S40.0020
Alebra castaneae G2G3SU0.0020
Cyrtolobus inermis
Cyrtolobus ovatus
Smilia camelus
Ancylocera bicolor - GNRS3S40.0020
Carya pallida - Sand Hickory G5S40.0007
Castanea pumila - Allegheny Chinquapin G5S40.0007
Quercus coccinea - Scarlet Oak G5S50.00
Quercus ilicifolia - Bear Oak G5S20.0460
Quercus marilandica - Blackjack Oak G5S50.00
Quercus montana - Chestnut Oak G5S50.00
Quercus prinoides - Dwarf Chinquapin Oak G5S10.3584
Quercus stellata - Post Oak G5S50.00
Quercus velutina - Black Oak G5S50.00
Erynnis brizo - Sleepy Duskywing G5S50.00
Satyrium calanus - Banded Hairstreak G5S4S50.0002
Satyrium edwardsii - Edwards' Hairstreak G4S20.0460
Satyrium favonius - Oak Hairstreak G4G5S30.0058
Eupatorium godfreyanum - Godfrey's Thoroughwort G4S30.0058
Hieracium venosum - Rattlesnake Hawkweed G5S50.00
Hypericum hypericoides - St. Andrew's-cross G5S50.00
Robinia hispida - Bristly Locust G5S40.0007
Robinia nana - Dwarf Locust G4S40.0007
Melanoplus nigrescens - Black-sided Spur-throat Grasshopper GUS30.0058
Spharagemon bolli - Boll's Locust G5S4S50.0002
Sciurus niger - Eastern Fox Squirrel G5S30.0058
Expected Number of Extirpations with a PE value (Sum of PE) = 1.5110
N = Number of Extant Species with a PE value = 33
Average PE = ENE/N = 0.0458
Number of S5 species = 8
Proportion of Secure Species = Number of S5 Species/N = 0.2424
Habitat Risk Index = ENE x (1 – PSS) = 1.1447

Estimated Risk to the Determining Species
Estimated Security of the Habitat
Index of Habitat Imperilment
Identified Risks
Observed Trends
Distribution Map
Major Conservation Reserves
Priority Areas for Surveys and Conservation Protection
Stewardship and Management Recommendations
References Webster, R.P. and Nielsen, M.C., 1984. Myrmecophily in the Edward's hairstreak butterfly Satyrium edwardsii(Lycaenidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists Society, 38(2):124-133. Accessible online at: http://images.peabody.yale.edu/lepsoc/jls/1980s/1984/1984-38(2)124-Webster.pdf

Updated on 2021-12-28 12:36:42