Moths of North Carolina
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15 NC Records

Ulolonche modesta (Morrison, 1874) - Modest Quaker Moth

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: EriopyginiP3 Number: 933120.00 MONA Number: 10569.00
Comments: One of eight species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010, 2011), two of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-small, gray and brown Noctuid. Head, body, and the ground color of the forewings is medium gray to blue-gray. A diffuse brown shade runs through the medial area and the antemedian and postmedian lines are double, sometimes filled with the gray ground color, sometimes with dark brown; the subterminal is represented by a series of fuscous brown spots. The orbicular and reniform are both small and fairly inconspicuous. Hindwings are fuscous.
Wingspan: 25-29 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Male reproductive structures are described for the genus by Forbes (1954) but he does not describe differences between the species. Eyes are covered with hair.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: A larva is illustrated but not described by Wagner et al. (2011). It appears to be similar but darker gray than the larva of Ulolonche culea. Like that species it appears to be fairly stout, with a shiny integument that is heavily peppered with black specks. Longitudinal lines are weakly developed.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Recorded in all three provinces in the state, including the Barrier Islands but not the High Mountains. May occur over the entire state but only in association with a narrow range of habitat types.
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)

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Flight Comments: Almost all of our records come from the early spring, but we also have one record from September, suggesting the presence of a small, second brood
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All of our records come from Pine-Oak-Heath communities. These include Maritime Forests and Longleaf Pine sandhills and flatwoods in the Coastal Plain and dry-xeric upland woodlands in the Mountains and monadnocks in the Piedmont.
Larval Host Plants: Wagner et al. (2011) report that larvae have been reared on wilted and blackened oak leaves, fallen oak catkins, and moist, decaying oak leaves. Observation of larvae feeding in the wild apparently have not been made. Our habitat records support the association with xerophytic oak species but does not rule out use of other species that commonly co-occur with oaks in these habitats.
Observation Methods: Appears to come well to blacklights but we have no records from bait
See also Habitat Account for General Dry-Xeric Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 SU->[S3S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Forbes (1954) considered this species to be rare, but Wagner et al. (2011) stated that it is fairly regular in a variety of barrens habitats, at least in the Northeast. Our findings agree with that statement but we still have fairly few records for this species, all from sites where there is enough suitable habitat present to support a metapopulation, an important factor for a species associated with fire-maintained habitats. Although found over a fairly wide area of the state, its specialization of dry Pine-Oak-Heath communities -- which are naturally maintained by fire -- suggest that it could be of some conservation concern. More information particularly on its host plant range, as well as its distribution in the Piedmont needs to be determined before an accurate assessment can be made of its conservation status.