Moths of North Carolina
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Eudarcia Members:
5 NC Records

Eudarcia eunitariaeella (Chambers, 1873) - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Tineoidea Family: MeessiidaeSubfamily: MeessiinaeTribe: [Meessiini]P3 Number: 300001.00 MONA Number: 277.00
Comments: The genus Eudarcia contains 70 or more species of small moths that occur in both the Old and New World. Eudarcia eunitariaeella is one of only two species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Pohl et al., 2016).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Dietz (1905, as Eudarcia caemitariella, p. 75); Forbes (1923, as Eudarcia caemitariella, p. 77)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1923)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Eudarcia eunitariaeella is a minute black-and-white moth with an orange head. The face and top of the head are ochraceous and roughened. The antenna is yellowish with dark annulations, somewhat thickened, and about as long as the body. Both the head and antennae strongly contrast with the forewings, which are dark, purplish brown to black, with a series of narrow, transverse white streaks or spots. A broken white band occurs about 1/3 from the base of the forewing. It is composed of an oblique streak extending down and back from the costa and a similar streak extending inward from the inner margin. A second pair of white streaks is located just beyond midway. The paired streaks sometimes weakly unite to form an angulated or concave fascia. The last pair of streaks is followed by two or more shorter white streaks or spots along the costa, the outermost of which may run obliquely inward or form a curved subapical spot. The hindwing is fuscous (Chambers, 1873; Dietz, 1905; Forbes, 1923). Eudarcia simulatricella is similar but the white streaks are broader and less oblique, and the apical cilia are tipped with white rather than being all brown.
Wingspan: 8-9 mm (Dietz, 1905; Forbes, 1924)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Chambers (1873) found larvae on old stone walls and monuments in cemeteries. He described the cases as being constructed from silk and lime, flattened, and somewhat truncate or emarginate on both ends. While Chambers noted that the cases were abundant on surfaces lacking any lichens, Forbes (1923) describes them as occurring on lichens.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Eudarcia eunitariaeella is found in eastern North America. It occurs in southern Canada (Ontario; Quebec), and throughout much of the eastern US, although it is seemingly absent from most of the southeastern Coastal Plain. As of 2022, we have only three site records and all are from the Piedmont.
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: Adults are active from May-August. As of 2022, our four records are from mid-July through early August.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The habitat requirements are poorly documented. As of 2022, one of our two site records is from a rocky area of a monadnock, while the other is from an urban neighborhood where there are lichen and moss-covered rocks.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae feed on lichens (Forbes, 1923), but also possibly algae, given Chambers' observation of larval cases on rocks that were devoid of lichens. - View
Observation Methods: The adults come to lights to some extent. We encourage field biologists to search for larvae on lichen-covered rocks to better document the larval life history and ecology.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: While this species may be somewhat specialized in terms of its habitats, we have too few records to assess its distribution or exact habitat requirements, precluding any determination of its conservation status in North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Eudarcia eunitariaeella - No common name

Photos: 6

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-06-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-08-01
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-07-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-07-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-07-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: J. A. Anderson on 2016-07-15
Surry Co.
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