Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFLimacodidae Members:
Packardia Members:
13 NC Records

Packardia elegans (Packard, 1864) - Elegant Tailed Slug Moth

Superfamily: Zygaenoidea Family: LimacodidaeP3 Number: 660019.00 MONA Number: 4661.00
Comments: One of four currently recognized members of the genus in North America, three of which occur in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuideTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1923)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Fore-wings light brown to dark gray-brown with a white AM line, diffusely edged with black distally, running from the inner margin to the midpoint of the costa. A short white PM line runs from the inner margin parallel to the AM line before it intersects with a curved white line that runs at an oblique angle from near the midpoint of the costa toward the anal angle, where it meets two or three round black or dark brown spots. The forewing pattern is reminiscent of that of P. geminata, but on that species the AM and PM lines are dark and the spots at the anal angle white.
Wingspan: 20 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult Structural Features:
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are elongate-oval, yellow-green slugs with pronounced tails. Dorsum dappled with darker greens and wavy yellow subdorsal stripes (Wagner, 2005).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Appears to be confined 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: Probably single-brooded in North Carolina, with adults flying in June and July
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from mesic montane forests, including cove forests and northern hardwoods
Larval Host Plants: Beech, Cherry, Oak, and other woody plants (Wagner, 2005).
Observation Methods: Like other Limicodids, readily attracted to lights.
See also Habitat Account for General Montane Mesic Forests
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 in state parks and on other public lands.
Comments: We only have a few records for this species. Although it is reported to feed on a fairly wide range of species, the preferred host plants used in North Carolina and other aspects of its habitat associations still need to be determined before its conservation status can be accurately assessed.

 Photo Gallery for Packardia elegans - Elegant Tailed Slug Moth

Photos: 5

Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger, P. Scharf on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf, B Bockhahn, K Kittelberger on 2014-06-08
Avery Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf, B Bockhahn, K Kittelberger on 2014-06-08
Avery Co.
Recorded by: Parker Backstrom on 2011-06-18
Watauga Co.
Recorded by: Parker Backstrom on 2011-06-17
Watauga Co.