Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 104 NC Records

Nephelodes minians Guenée, 1852 - Bronzed Cutworm Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: TholeriniP3 Number: 932810.00 MONA Number: 10524.00
Comments: This is a New World genus with one species from Colombia and 5 from the United States and Canada. A single species reaches North Carolina.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have been barcoded and fall into the range of variation seen across a broad geographical area of North America.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This coppery-colored, large noctuid species is quite distinct and unlikely to be confused with any other species largely because of its size and color. Our populations have a dark colored form in addition to the normal reddish form. Sexes are similar.
Wingspan: 35-50 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Both male and female genitalia are distinct and should help identify very worn specimens. The vesica is unarmed.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae, known as the bronze cutworm, are spindle-shaped and live in tunnels under the ground, eating roots and shoots of grasses, occasionally becoming a pest. They have long middorsal and addorsal tan lines as well as a broad, tan stripe enclosing the spiracles. The adult is in flight in the fall, lays eggs which hatch either in the late Fall or early Spring and the larvae feed above ground until they reach later instars which then tunnel below the surface. The mature caterpillar pupates in late spring/early summer but does not emerge until the fall.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found widely over the Mountains and Piedmont but Coastal Plain records are concentrated along the brownwater floodplain of the lower Roanoke
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: The species is single brooded across the state but most prominent in the lower mountains and piedmont. The appearance of the adult is a sure sign that fall is about to come. In flight for about 6 weeks, sometimes the most common species in light traps this time of year.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We do not have any records from coastal dune grasslands or pine savannas; our sole Coastal Plain record comes, in fact, from somewhat disturbed ridges surrounded on all sides by swamp forest. In the Piedmont and Mountains, records come both upland and bottomland sites and include both old fields and forests.
Larval Host Plants: Oligophagous, feeding on grasses, including turfgrass, cereal crops, corn, and native grasses (Wagner et al., 2011). Occasionally feeds on forbs or the new leaves of woody plants.
Observation Methods: Adults come readily to light, to bait and to flowers.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Mixed Habitats
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: Most of our surveys have been conducted in natural areas, where this species is relatively frequent. However, it is likely to be far more widespread and numerous in pastures and other semi-natural grasslands, as well as in some corn fields and other croplands

 Photo Gallery for Nephelodes minians - Bronzed Cutworm Moth

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

Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2021-10-08
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-10-04
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2021-10-03
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2021-10-01
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-09-30
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall, Ed Corey, Jim Petranka, Becky Elkin, Tom Howard, Carol Tingley, Brian Bockhahn, and Van Cotter on 2021-09-29
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2021-09-27
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-09-24
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-09-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-09-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-09-10
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-10-09
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-10-06
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2019-10-19
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2019-10-03
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2019-09-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2019-09-20
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-19
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-13
Madison Co.
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