Moths of North Carolina
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Leucania Members:
6 NC Records

Leucania calidior (Forbes, 1936) - Cane Wainscot

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: LeucaniiniP3 Number: 932964.00 MONA Number: 10460.00
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 calidior with L. inermis, ursula, pseudargyria -- all found in North Carolina -- and the Floridian pilipalpis in the Pseudargyria Complex.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1936, 1954); Poole (2016)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-large Wainscot. The forewings are a yellowish brown, partly tinged with a pinkish wash and 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: 37 mm (Forbes, 1936)
Adult Structural Features: The palpi are pale luteous on the outer sides and gray on the upper and inner surfaces (Forbes, 1936). Other members of this group have more uniformly colored palpi, either all dark in pseudargyria, mainly pale in ursula, or a mixture of luteous and gray in inermis. As in pseudargyria and ursula, males possess large tufts of hair on the foreleg femur and tibia. In specimens we have examined, these tufts are a somewhat dark, ash gray, rather than the paler gray of ursula or the much darker gray-brown of pseudargyria. Male genitaila are distinctive, with the shape of the uncus and the clasper differing from other members of this complex and the aedeagus possessing two strong fused spines in the vesica, along with several smaller fused spines (see description and illustrations provided by Forbes, 1936).
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 appear to be undescribed
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: North Carolina records come solely from the Coastal Plain, although its host plants also occur in the Piedmont and Mountains
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: North Carolina records all come from sites with canebrakes, primarily from forested areas where fire is infrequent but with one record from a regularly burned Streamhead Canebrake in the Fall-line Sandhills.
Larval Host Plants: Monophagous, believed to feed solely on Cane (Arundinaria spp.) (Quinter, pers. com.) - View
Observation Methods: Our records all come from blacklight but members of this genus generally come well to bait.
See also Habitat Account for General Cane Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G2G4 S1S2
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be completely restricted to areas containing extensive populations of Cane but like many cane-feeding specialists, appears to be absent from many areas of apparently suitable habitat. We do not believe that it has simply been undersampled, however, or mistaken for the more common members of its species complex. The canebrake fauna has been especially targeted in moth inventories conducted in North Carolina, due to the large number of specialists and/or endemic species it contains. Unlike some of even rare members of this group, moreover, this species flies during the main part of the growing season and occupies a particularly large geographic range, occurring in areas on both sides of the Appalachians (E. Quinter, pers. comm.). More needs to be learned about the life history and actual population sizes of this species in order to accurately determine its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Leucania calidior - Cane Wainscot

Photos: 6

Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2024-04-21
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2023-05-24
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2023-05-23
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2021-07-31
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2016-04-28
Harnett Co.
Comment: Male; species identity confirmed by dissection (see Structural Photos)
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2014-05-09
Cabarrus Co.