Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 5 NC Records

Euxoa declarata (Walker, 1865) - Clear Dart Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: NoctuiniP3 Number: 933378.00 MONA Number: 10755.00
Comments: One of 181 species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010), the majority of which are found in the West and North; only thirteen species have been recorded in North Carolina. Euxoa declarata belongs to the Declarata Species Group in Subgenus Euxoa (Lafontaine, 1987), which contains three species in addition to declarata; E. campestris is the only other member of this group that occurs in North Carolina.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Lafontaine (1987)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Noctuid. The form that occurs in North Carolina has a violet-brown ground color, with black basal, antemedian, and postmedian lines. The spots are also outlined in black; the reniform and orbicular are both large, with the area in between them and before the orbicular shaded with black. The claviform is also usually present and outlined, but not filled, with black. The hindwings are either pale fuscous, or whitish with a fuscous shade along the margins and the veins (Forbes, 1954; Lafontaine, 1987). Euxoa campestris is similar in size and pattern, but usually has darker fuscous hindwings and darker forewings (Lafontaine, 1987). Dissection, however, may be needed to confirm the identities of these two species.
Wingspan: 35-40 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Lafontaine (1987) provides keys to the subgenera, species groups, and individual species based on genitalic structures. Males of declarata can be separated from campestris by their more normally-proportioned sacculus; in campestris, the sacculus is massively swollen (see Lafontaine, 1987, for more details and illustrations).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: As described by Forbes (1954), larvae are "translucent dull brown with pale dorsal, subdorsal and lateral lines", with the substigmatal line a more distinct white. A specimen illustrated on the Moth Photographer's Website appears to be very similar to one shown for E. campestris.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Restricted to the High Mountains
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, flying in June and July
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All of our records come from high elevation forests, including stands of Spruce and Northern Hardwoods. Moisture regimes range from mesic to fairly dry.
Larval Host Plants: Larval host plants appear to be unknown (Lafontaine, 1987), but like most species of Euxoa, probably include a wide range of low-growing plants (Wagner et al., 2011).
Observation Methods: Comes in low numbers to blacklights. At least some members of this genus visit flowers (e.g., E. detersa, Wagner et al., 2011).
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4G5 S2?
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species, along with a few others in this genus, appear to be Pleistocene relicts in North Carolina, found mainly far to the north or in montane areas in the West but occurring disjunctly at high elevations in our mountains. Records for this species are otherwise unknown south of New England and northern New York. Although more needs to be learned about their host plants, specific habitat associations, and abundance in our area, declarata is likely to be at high risk due to global climate change and does not appear to be secure from extirpation from its last remaining sites south of the New England.

 Photo Gallery for Euxoa declarata - Clear Dart Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: SPH on 1992-07-22
Watauga Co.
Comment: Determined by D.F. Schweitzer