Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 51 NC Records

Leucania pseudargyria Guenée, 1852 - False Wainscot Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: LeucaniiniP3 Number: 932966.00 MONA Number: 10462.00
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 pseudargyria with L. inermis, ursula, 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: This is the largest of our Wainscots. The ground color of forewings varies from reddish to greenish-brown, with the reddish shades most typical, usually distinguishing it from ursula, although a pure gray form (derufata) has also been described (Forbes, 1936). Areas of darker gray are 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 in ground color and in the structural characters described below. In some cases, the male genitalia provide the only certain way to identify these species.
Wingspan: females have a wingspan of up to 40 mm (Forbes, 1936)
Adult Structural Features: The palpi are solidly dark gray (Forbes, 1936). In other members of this group, the palpi are all pale in ursula, or a mixture of luteous and gray in inermis, or divided into a dark inner surface and pale outer surface in calidior. As in caldidior and ursula, males possess large tufts of hair on the foreleg femur and tibia. In pseudargyria, these tufts are a dark gray, particularly at the base, in contrast with the luteous color of ursula or the silver gray of calidior. Male genitaila are distinctive, with the shape of the uncus and the clasper differing from other members of this complex and the aedeagus possessing one large slender spine in the vesica, along with several smaller fused spines (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.

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Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

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