Moths of North Carolina
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48 NC Records

Leucania inermis (Forbes, 1936) - Unarmed Wainscot Moth

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: LeucaniiniP3 Number: 932963.00 MONA Number: 10459.00
Comments: One of 30 species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010; Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2015), 16 of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Previously included in Subfamily Hadeninae but moved to the much expanded Noctuinae by Lafontaine and Schmidt. They also included it in Tribe Leucaniini along with Mythimna. Additionally, Forbes (1936) grouped inermis with L. pseudargyria, ursula, calidior -- all found in North Carolina -- and the Floridian pilipalpis in the Pseudargyria Complex.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLD                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A large Wainscot. The forewings are a a pale luteous, with darker gray areas located between the orbicular and reniform, before the orbicular, and in a triangular area located in the lower half of the wing apex. Both the orbicular and reniform spots are paler cream, with a darker spot in lower half of the reniform. The antemedian line is fairly inconspicuous but the postmedian is somewhat more strongly defined, following a strongly dentate course and sometimes appearing to form a double line, with dark points on the veins alternating with somewhat weaker crescents located more medially in the interspaces. Hindwings are dark fuscous. Other members of the Pseudargyria Complex have a similar pattern, but differ somewhat in ground color and size of the dark spot in the reniform. The structural characters described below -- particularly the male genitalia -- provide a more certain way to identify these species.
Wingspan: 35 mm (Forbes, 1936)
Adult Structural Features: The palpi have a mixture of pale luteous and darker gray scales on both the outer and inner sides (Forbes, 1936). The palpi in other members of this group are either all dark in pseudargyria, all luteous in ursula, or have dark inner surfaces and pale outer surfaces in calidior. Males are easily distinguished from other members of this complex by their lack of large tufts of hair on the foreleg tibiae. Male genitaila are also distinctive, with the shape of the uncus and the clasper differing from other members of this complex and the aedeagus possessing a single massive spine in the vesica (see description and illustrations provided by Forbes, 1936). Females in the summer brood are usually larger than those of ursula but are otherwise indistinguishable from that species.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Distribution in North Carolina
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
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from a wide range of habitats, ranging from dune grasslands to savannas to woodlands and forests. Both wet and dry habitats are included.
Larval Host Plants: Members of this genus feed on graminoids (Wagner et al., 2011) - View
See also Habitat Account for General Mixed Habitats
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S3S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Leucania inermis - Unarmed Wainscot Moth

Photos: 2

Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-05-16
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-05-16
Buncombe Co.