Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFLimacodidae Members: 65 NC Records

Tortricidia flexuosa (Grote, 1880) - Abbreviated Button Slug Moth

Superfamily: Zygaenoidea Family: LimacodidaeP3 Number: 660012.00 MONA Number: 4654.00
Comments: One of three closely related species of this genus to occur in N.A., all of which occur in NC. In adult form this species and T. pallida cannot be differentiated morphologically, even by genitalic dissection, and are generally thought by experts likely to be conspecific (Wagner, 2005).
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Covell (2005)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Two forms with intermediate variations. Pale (typical) form has FW pale orange to pale yellow with faint to obvious, more-or-less straight brown or reddish AM line and rounded PM line, often with faint, similarly colored orbicular spot. FW sometimes unmarked. This form has the area inside the AM and PM lines concolorous with the rest of the FW. The second form has the area between the AM and PM lines partially or completely filled in with dark brown shading, typically with a pale orbicular spot (which is less obvious on the paler "dark" individuals), giving it a superficial similarity to the dark form of Apoda y-inversum. HW pale orange to creamy yellow and unmarked. Adults indistinguishable from T. flexuosa; also very similar to Heterogenia shurtleffi. Larvae: Differs only subtly from the other slug-like Tortricidia caterpillars. Each is pale green and oval shaped and all share broad, reddish (sometimes greenish), cross-shaped patches on the dorsum, the lateral "arms" being widest. The side "arms" on T. flexuosa extend only about halfway down the sides, whereas those of its congeners extend almost to the bottom edges of the abdominal segments (Wagner, 2005).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Distribution 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
Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants:
Observation Methods: Readily attracted to lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks:
State Protection:
Comments: Like each of the other three species it closely resembles, it is probably relatively common across the state, but because of the identification challenges, a clear picture of the status of T. flexuosa in the state may prove elusive for the near future. Although tempting to assign specific names to any adults encountered, it is probably safest to call them all "Tortricidea sp."

 Photo Gallery for Tortricidia flexuosa - Abbreviated Button Slug Moth

Photos: 15

Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-05-16
Onslow Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2019-08-07
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-05-16
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2019-05-10
Cumberland Co.
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-05-08
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-05-08
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2017-07-24
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall, Ed Corey, and Brian Bockhahn on 2017-05-17
Surry Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-06-14
Ashe Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Coin, C. Sorenson on 2015-07-24
Orange Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, K. Kittelberger on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
Recorded by: Tom Sanders on 2014-07-26
Mecklenburg Co.
Recorded by: Parker Backstrom on 2014-05-01
Chatham Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2013-08-02
Warren Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-07-08
Warren Co.