Moths of North Carolina
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41 NC Records

Feralia major Smith, 1890 - Major Sallow



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AmphipyrinaeTribe: PsaphidiniP3 Number: 931563.00 MONA Number: 10007.00
Comments: An isolated genus with 7 species worldwide, 1 palearctic, the other 6 nearctic, with 3 occurring in North Carolina.
Species Status: Specimens from Georgia to Canada have been barcoded but none from North Carolina (one currently pending). These break up into two distinct groups, one from the Gulf States, the others from elsewhere. Both occur in the mountains of Georgia and it is likely that our coastal populations will match those of the Gulf States while our montane populations will match the more common northern populations. However those from the Gulf States were the green form, those from elsewhere were both black and green. Two color forms have been recorded for the species in North Carolina, but the correspondence between their distributions and those of the barcode forms and needs to be determined.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Poole (1995)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Maier et al. (2011); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: 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 but typically shaded with black on the forewings. The hindwing is green along the outer margin, which is diagnostic, especially in green forms of the species that lack the black shading. F. comstocki can also have a green marginal band on the hindwing but compared to F. major, the basal forewing line is quite different. In the Coastal Plain this is the only Feralia and the black form dominates, we have seen one green form from New Hanover County. Although recorded from the mountains, we have not seen the specimens and do not know which form(s) are there. Sexes are identical.
Adult Structural Features: Unlike F. jocosa and comstocki, which have U-shaped juxta, that of major has two well separated breast-like mounds. The tip of the valve is much larger relative to the anal extension and dominates the view. The vesica is much narrower than in F. jocosa and the two patches of spines (4 and 6) are better sclerotized. The ostial plate seems narrower than in F. jocosa and the accessory bursa is more heavily sclerotized and narrower than in F. jocosa.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are dark green with prominent pale and even dorsal, sub-dorsal and subspiracular stripes; the sub-dorsal stripe is white and edged with purplish red above (see Maier et al., 2011, and Wagner et al., 2011, for illustrations and detailed descriptions).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Possibly occurs statewide, although we have no records from much of the state.
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: Single brooded, flying only in late winter and early spring. In the Coastal Plain this species is active in late December and early January
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: 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 Mountains, where White Pine is typically the most common species of pine.
Larval Host Plants: 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 Carolina. We have, however, no actual caterpillar sightings in North Carolina. If they feed in the upper parts of Pond Pine in the Coastal Plain, finding caterpillars is unlikely. Definite foodplant choices in the wild are needed.
Observation Methods: Comes to light but no records from bait.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: 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 likely to be secure within the state, although more surveys of adults or larvae in order to determine its actual distribution, abundance, and habitat associations.

 Photo Gallery for Feralia major - Major Sallow

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

Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn on 2023-02-08
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn on 2023-02-08
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2023-01-19
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2023-01-19
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2023-01-19
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2023-01-18
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2023-01-05
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2023-01-03
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-12-30
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-12-30
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-01-13
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-01-09
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-01-01
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2021-12-28
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2021-12-28
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2021-12-26
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Ben Fleming on 2021-12-24
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-01-22
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-01-22
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-01-22
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-01-03
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-02-04
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-01-07
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-12-25
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-04-23
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-12
Madison Co.
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