Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Schinia Members:
2 NC Records

Schinia septentrionalis (Walker, 1858) - Northern Flower Moth

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: HeliothinaeP3 Number: 932114.00 MONA Number: 11110.00
Comments: One of 126 species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010, 2011), the majority of which occur in the West; 25 have been recorded in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Hardwick (1996); Schweitzer et al., (2011)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Flower Moth, with an ochraceous ground color, heavily mottled with red-brown in the basal and subterminal areas of the forewing. Both antemedian and postemedian lines are pale; the antemedian is strongly crenulate and the postmedian sinuous with pale posterior denticles. Hindwings are black with yellow spots or completely black in form brevis (Forbes, 1954).
Wingspan: 23-26 mm (Forbes, 1954; Schweitzer et al., 2011)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Forbes (1954) describes the larvae marked with fine, wavy, brown and yellow striations, with dorsal and lateral stripes particularly prominent. The head has a pair of brown blotches and the prothoracic shield has four oblique black stripes. Larvae are present late in the year, matching the flowering phenology of their host plants. Most of the year is spent in the pupal stage.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: We have records only from the Coastal Plain but the species has the potential to occur over the entire state.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Univoltine, flying late in the year; our one record with a specific date is from September
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The only site for which we have habitat data is a dredge-spoil deposition area located in the estuary of the Cape Fear River. Although the Sandhills record provided by Brimley (1938) is consistent with this species being associated with native grasslands, we have too little information to make any firm conclusions. The host plants used by these species occur in a wide range of open woodlands and glades, not just Coastal Plain savannas, flatwoods, and sandhills.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding on blue-flowered Asters, including members of the genera Symphyiotrichum, Eurybia, and Ionactis (all formerly Aster), several of which occur within the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. - View
Observation Methods: We have too few records to determine whether this species comes regularly to blacklights. Searching for larvae and adults resting in flowers is probably the most efficient way of documenting the presence of this species.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G3G4 SH
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 is regarded as a specialist on native grasslands (Metzler et al., 2005; Schweitzer et al., 2011), which may be part of the reason for its apparent scarcity. Schweitzer et al. also state that it has undergone an apparent drastic decline in the eastern part of its range, particularly in the Northeast; it is regarded as historic or possibly extirpated in many states in that region where it was once observed regularly. The reasons for this decline, however, are unclear, although suppression of natural fires may be the most likely factor, leading to alterations of native grasslands throughout the region.