Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 2 NC Records

Euxoa campestris (Grote, 1875) - No Common Name


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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: NoctuiniP3 Number: 933379.00 MONA Number: 10756.00
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 campestris belongs to the Declarata Species Group in Subgenus Euxoa (Lafontaine, 1987), which contains three species in addition to campestris; E. declarata 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: Lafontaine (1987)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Noctuid. The form that occurs in North Carolina has a dark, blackish-brown ground color, with reddish-brown shading in the basal and terminal areas. The antemedian, and postmedian lines are black and 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 pale fuscous (Lafontaine, 1987). Euxoa declarata is slightly larger and similar in pattern, but usually has paler hindwings and lighter brown forewings (Lafontaine, 1987). Dissection, however, may be needed to confirm the identities of these two species.
Forewing Length: 14-16 mm (Lafontaine, 1987)
Adult Structural Features: Lafontaine (1987) provides keys to the subgenera, species groups, and individual species based on genitalic structures. Males of campestris can be separated from declarata by their massively swollen sacculus (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: Larvae have been reared in captivity (Hinks and Byers, 1976) but do not appear to have been described. A specimen illustrated on the Moth Photographer's Website appears to be very similar to one shown for E. declarata.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Currently recorded only from two high elevation sites in the southern half of the 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)

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Flight Comments: Univoltine, with adults captured in June and August
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Both of our records come from high elevation forests, including stands of Spruce-Fir Forests and Northern Hardwoods
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: GNR S1S2
State Protection: Has no 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. In addition to the population in North Carolina, Lafontaine (1987) mentions an isolated population in eastern Kentucky; records are otherwise unknown in the East south of northern New England and Canada. Although more needs to be learned about their host plants, specific habitat associations, and abundance in our area, these species are likely to be at high risk due to global climate change and do not appear to be secure from extirpation from their last remaining sites south of New England.