Moths of North Carolina
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20 NC Records

Dargida rubripennis (Grote & Robinson, 1870) - Pink Streak Moth

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: HadeniniP3 Number: 932931.00 MONA Number: 10434.00
Comments: This is a large New World genus which recently has included the species formerly placed in Faronta. Three species occur in North Carolina. While primarily a genus of high altitude species in the West, Central and South America, our species occur at sea level with some penetrating the mountains.
Species Status: While specimens from North Carolina have not been barcoded, there is little reason to expect any significant differences from those from elsewhere.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Faronta rubripennis); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This lovely species is unlikely to be confused with any other species in our fauna. In freshly emerged specimens, the forewing is streaked horizontally with pink and yellow-gold.
Adult Structural Features: The three species of Dargida have slightly different genitalia although the maculation should be sufficient to identify each species.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are similar to those of D. diffusa and feed on some of the same host plants (Wagner et al., 2011). They need to be reared to adulthood in order to confirm their identities. Its life history in relation to seed production of grasses would be an excellent study topic.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: All of our records are from the Coastal Plain. Although there are reports of records from the mountains, we have not vetted those records nor seen the localities from which they originate.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: A single brood has been observed flying for about a month beginning near the end of August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records all come from open grassy sites with sandy substrates, including both maritime dunes and interior sandhills. If its primary host plant is Panicum virgatum, then both wet swales and drier sites are probably used.
Larval Host Plants: Known to feed on Panicum virgatum in New Jersey (Wagner et al, 2011). Panicum is common in dune habitats and perhaps the caterpillars are attacking the seeds. Other grasses may also be used. - View
Observation Methods: Adults come well to blacklights but their response to bait or flowers is unknown.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G3G4 S2S3
State Protection: 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.
Comments: Generally considered rare or local throughout its range (Forbes, 1954; Wagner et al., 2011). In North Carolina, we relatively few records, all from just three locations. While it is probably secure in the Fall-line Sandhills, the beach dunes where the largest populations occur are likely to be drastically affected by sea level rise.

 Photo Gallery for Dargida rubripennis - Pink Streak Moth

Photos: 7

Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2022-08-29
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2022-08-29
Moore Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-09-19
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-09-11
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2020-09-28
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2020-09-28
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2004-09-20
Carteret Co.