Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Eueretagrotis Members:
27 NC Records

Eueretagrotis attentus (Grote, 1874) - Attentive Dart Moth

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: NoctuiniP3 Number: 933570.00 MONA Number: 11009.00
Comments: This genus contains 3 northern New World species that come down the Appalachian Mountains into North Carolina.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have been sequenced and match those from more northern localities; there is no evidence of sibling species.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This species has a chocolate-colored collar, rather than the black found in the other two species (Forbes, 1954); however, there may be a black stripe (Sullivan, pers obs.). It has a strong but diffuse and irregular blackish basal dash but the cell in between the orbicular and reniform is filled with the ground color, rather than the black found in the other two species (Forbes, 1954). The orbicular is round rather than oval, as in the other two species. The hindwing is pearl-colored (Sullivan, pers. obs.).
Adult Structural Features: E. attentus lacks the tibial spining found in E. sigmoides. In the male the ventral (anal) edge of the valve lacks the projection seen in E. perattentus, the basal horizontal ridge seen in E. sigmoides is lacking, and the tips of the valve are flexed downward. The cornutus is a rounded nub in the basal area of the vesica. In the female the lateral edges of the ostium are moderately thin crescents.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are similar to other cutworms. It is likely that the winter is passed in the larval stage because older larvae are found in the early spring.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Restricted to the Mountains in North Carolina.
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: There is a single brood on the wing in June and July, perhaps into August at the higher elevations.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The majority of our records come from Northern Hardwood and Spruce-fir Forests above 3500’, but we also have records from hardwood forests on slopes and ridges at lower elevations, particularly in the southern part of our mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae are likely feeding on low growing forbs and woody plants. Larvae have been found on blueberry and willow and are associated with blueberry barrens and bogs in the northern part of the range (Wagner et al., 2011).
Observation Methods: Adults come readily to light but we could not find information regarding their attraction to bait or flowers.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [S3S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be a specialist on mesic montane forests and may, thus, be at some risk due to the effects of climate change. More needs to be known about its distribution, habitats, and host plants before its conservation status can be accurately determined.