Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Egira Members:
354 NC Records

Egira alternans (Walker, [1857]) - Alternate Woodling Moth



view caption
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: OrthosiiniP3 Number: 932799.00 MONA Number: 10517.00
Comments: A genus of some 23 species, most are North American but others come from Japan, South Africa, Turkey and the type from Europe. It is almost certainly a polyphyletic genus and in need of revision. We have but a single species in North Carolina and it does not seem particularly close to the European type species.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have been examined and are homogeneous; there is no evidence for sibling species in Eastern North America.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954), as Xylomiges alternansTechnical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Pattern fairly distinct but could be confused with Psaphida rolandi. In Egira look for the alternate light and dark rings on the abdomen, there is often a reddish flush overlaying the forewing pattern, and it is in flight slightly later than Psaphida. In the heath habitats of the Coastal Plain it is often the most common spring noctuid whereas Psaphida species are quite uncommon. Sexes are similar.
Adult Structural Features: Both male and female genitalia are complex and unlikely to be confused with any species superficially resembling this species.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The brownish caterpillar has a broad white spiracular stripe extending the length of the body but that is also true for caterpillars of Orthosia revicta and no good characters for separating these two species have been found. Apparently the European species hibernates before pupating but that has not been reported for our species.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found in wooded habitats from the coastal islands to the higher altitudes in the western part of the state.
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
Flight Comments: Univoltine, with adults flying in the spring, from March to May
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have records from nearly every type of habitat in the state, from Maritime Scrub, Peatlands, Longleaf Pine Habitats and river floodplains in the Coastal Plain to mesic and dry ridges in the Piedmont and Mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae are reported from a wide variety of woody plants but preferences are unknown. We have found it on highbush blueberry in the Coastal Plain but it likely has a much broader range of foodplants.
Observation Methods: Adults can be very common in traps in March and April (and May in the mountains). They do not come to bait but have been seen at spring flowers such as plum.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have numerous records for this species, unlike many others that fly at the same time of the year. Egira appears to be one of the most ubiquitous and abundant species in the state and is quite secure.

 Photo Gallery for Egira alternans - Alternate Woodling Moth

56 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-30
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-04-12
Bladen Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-11
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-03-25
Cumberland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-03-25
Cumberland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-03-25
Cumberland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-03-18
Carteret Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-03-05
Sampson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-03-03
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-02-24
Cumberland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-19
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-05-17
Graham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-26
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-20
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-04-17
Carteret Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-12
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-08
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-04
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-18
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-03-18
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-03-03
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-22
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-11
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-04-03
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-30
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-26
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-26
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-18
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-18
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-09
Onslow Co.
Comment: