Moths of North Carolina
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69 NC Records

Leucania ursula (Forbes, 1936) - Ursula Wainscot Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: LeucaniiniP3 Number: 932965.00 MONA Number: 10461.00
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 ursula with L. inermis, pseudargyria, calidior -- all found in North Carolina -- and the Floridian pilipalpis in the Pseudargyria Complex.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-large Wainscot. The forewings are 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: 30 mm but with some spring brood specimens reaching 40 mm (Forbes, 1936)
Adult Structural Features: The palpi are pale luteous on both the outer and inner sides but can be slightly darker gray on the upper surfaces (Forbes, 1936). The palpi in other members of this group are either all dark in pseudargyria, a mixture of luteous and gray in inermis, or have dark inner surfaces and pale outer surfaces in calidior. As in pseudargyria and calidior, males possess large tufts of hair on the foreleg tibiae. In specimens we have examined, these tufts are pale luteous, rather than the silver color of calidior 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 only rudimentary small spines in the vesica (see description and illustrations provided by Forbes, 1936).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution:
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
Habitats and Life History
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Larval Host Plants:
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
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State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
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 Photo Gallery for Leucania ursula - Ursula Wainscot Moth

Photos: 23

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-08-20
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-08-20
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-08-12
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2018-08-25
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-08-02
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2014-05-27
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Taylor Piephoff on 2012-05-13
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-05-05
Ashe Co.
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