Moths of North Carolina
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55 NC Records

Packardia geminata (Packard, 1864) - Jeweled Tailed Slug Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Zygaenoidea Family: LimacodidaeP3 Number: 660017.00 MONA Number: 4659.00
Comments: This is one of four currently recognized members of the genus in North America, three of which occur in North Carolina. The fourth, P. albicaudata, may merely be a form of P. geminata (Wagner, 2005).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1923)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Dyer (1898b); Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: In this species the antennae are reddish-brown, while the head, palps, and thorax vary from dull white to reddish tan with varying levels of orangish-brown to brown dusting. A prominent scale tuft is present on the thorax. The ground color of the forewing ranges from off white to grayish to orange-brown and also has varying amounts of orangish-brown to brown dusting. The median and post-median areas are filled with a large V-shaped patch that is narrowest at the costa. The patch broadly widens from the costa and terminates in a region that extends from near the anal angle to just before the middle of the inner margin. The patch typically varies from light or dark brown and is edged by a brown median and postmedian line. In many specimens the region between the lines may be only partially filled with darker scales. The distal margin of the patch is marked near the anal angle with one to three oval or triangular white spots. The forewing pattern is reminiscent of that of P. elegans, but on that species the median and post-medial lines are white, and the spots at the anal angle are dark.
Wingspan: 25 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: This species produces a single brood per year and the larvae feed on the leaves of a variety of trees and shrubs. Dyer (1898b) noted that the females mate shortly after emerging and lay their eggs singly on the undersides of host plants. Hatching occurs in about two weeks. The larvae at his study sites were commonly found in dry woods and on bushes on the edges of fields, and usually were close to the ground. The final instar pupates within a brown cocoon that has a tough, fibrous wall. The larvae presumably overwinter in the prepupal stage, then pupate following the spring leaf-out. The older instars are slug-like, with bluish-green, elongated, oval bodies that have a pronounced tail that sometimes can break off (Dyer, 1898b). A relatively straight, whitish, subdorsal stripe is present on both sides that runs the length of the body. Packardia elegans is similar, but has a wavy subdorsal stripe that is not as white, and more dark dappling on the dorsum (Wagner, 2005).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Packardia geminata is found in southern Canada from Ontario eastward to Nova Scotia, and in the US from Maine westward across the Great Lakes region to Minnesota. From there the range extends southward to Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, central Mississippi, central Alabama, northern Georgia, and western South Carolina. There is one isolated record from southern Louisiana. We have records from all three regions of the state, but most come from the Blue Ridge, with the rest of the state sparsely represented.
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: Local populations appear to produce a single brood each year throughout the range. Adults have been observed from February through September in different areas of the range, with the peak flight typically in May and June. As of 2023, our records extend from early May thorough late-July, with the exception of one early season record from late March. The seasonal peaks in North Carolina populations are in May and June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Most of our records come from wet to mesic hardwood forests. These include peatlands, bottomland hardwoods, and pond and lake shorelines in the Coastal Plain, and cove forests and northern hardwood forests in the Blue Ridge.
Larval Host Plants: The larvae are polyphagous and feed on a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, and possibly spruce (Dyers, 1898b; Covell, 1984; Murphy et al., 2010; Robinson et al., 2010; Marquis et al., 2019). The reported hosts including birches (Betula), hickories (Carya), dogwoods (Cornus), beeches (Fagus), wax-myrtles (Myrica), gums (Nyssa), oaks (Quercus), spruces (Picea), cherries (Prunus), and viburnums (Viburnum). Specific species that are used (iNaturalist; BugGuide; Murphy et al., 2010; Marquis et al., 2019) include Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), American Beech (F. grandifolia), Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica), Black Cherry (P. serotina), White Oak (Q. alba), Willow Oak (Q. phellos), Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra) and Black Oak (Q. velutina). Records for spruce (Covell 1984) are suspect and need confirmation given that the larvae typically feed on the undersides of broadleaf species.
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it in state parks and on other public lands.
Comments: Although this species ranges across all three regions of the state, most records are from the Blue Ridge where collecting efforts have historically been concentrated.

 Photo Gallery for Packardia geminata - Jeweled Tailed Slug Moth

Photos: 26

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2022-05-29
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2021-06-04
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-06-01
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-27
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-27
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-05-22
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2019-06-05
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-05-30
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-28
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-28
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Leigh Anne Carter on 2016-05-18
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, K. Kittelberger on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf,B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger on 2014-06-09
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2014-05-22
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2013-06-04
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2013-05-30
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-05-26
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2012-05-06
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: Parker Backstrom on 2011-06-18
Watauga Co.
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