Moths of North Carolina
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Lithacodes Members:
336 NC Records

Lithacodes fasciola (Herrich-Schäffer, 1854) - Yellow-shouldered Slug Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Zygaenoidea Family: LimacodidaeP3 Number: 660023.00 MONA Number: 4665.00
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Immature Stages: Dyars, 1897a; Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: In this species the head, palps, antennae, thorax, and ground color of the forewings vary from ocherous-red to reddish-brown. The forewing has a prominent white fascia that extends obliquely from the middle of the inner margin to the costa at about two-thirds. The fascia is usually jagged, with one or two prominent teeth, and is followed by a deep brown diffuse band. The only other prominent mark is a thin, dark brown to blackish line that extends from the costa at around three-fourths toward the tornus. The line extends perpendicular to the costa for a short distance, then sharply angles posteriorly and curves towards the tornus. The hindwing is dark brown with a slightly paler fringe that has a darker basal line.
Wingspan: 20 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae feed on a wide variety of deciduous hardwoods. Dyars (1897a) reported that the females lay whitish, translucent eggs on the leaves of host plants. The larvae hatch in about eight days and pass through seven instars. The final instar spins a dark brown, tough, fibrous cocoon. Overwintering presumably occurs in the pre-pupal stage, with pupation occurring with the spring warm-up.

The final instar is 7-15 mm long and is smooth-bodied and lacks setae. The later instars are bright yellow-green with a pocked and granulated surface. The yellow subdorsal stripes are narrow and waved, and the subspiracular stripe is broken into yellow dots. The body is pocked with yellow-edged depressions, and the rear projects outward as a very short, squared-off tail. There are stinging spines in all but the last instar (Dyars, 1897a; Wagner 2005). Apoda caterpillars are similar, but have dark edging along the inner side of their subdorsal stripes.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Lithacodes fasciola is found throughout most of the eastern US and in adjoining portions of southern Canada from Saskatchewan eastward to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In the US the range extends from Maine southward to northern Florida, and westward to central Texas, central Oklahoma, central Kansas, central Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and northeastern North Dakota. This species occurs statewide 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
Immature 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: The adults have been observed from February through September in different areas of the range, with the main flight season from May through September. As of 2023, our records range from late April through mid-September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Local populations are generally found in deciduous forests and forest edges, as well as in wetlands and semi-wooded residential neighborhoods. Many of our records are either from wetlands or bottomland and mesic forests. We also have records from Sandhill habitats near seepage slopes and headwater streams, as well as semiwooded residential neighborhoods.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae are highly polyphagous on hardwood trees and shrubs (Dyars, 1897a; Prentice, 1966; Wagner, 2005; Heppner, 2007; Robinson et al., 2010), including members of the Betulaceae, Rosaceae, Ericaceae, Fagaceae, Juglandaceae, Aceraceae, Salicaceae, and others (Wagner, 2005). The reported hosts include Red Maple (Acer rubrum) and other maples, Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera), American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), hickories (Carya), chestnuts (Castanea), dogwoods (Cornus), American Beech (Fagus grandifolia), Gaylussacia, Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), apples (Malus), bayberries (Myrica/Morella), American Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) and other cherries, oaks (Quercus), willows (Salix), American Basswood (Tilia americana), American Elm (Ulmus americana) and other elms, and huckleberries (Vaccineum). - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Forests and Shrublands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This is a widespread and common species that is secure in North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Lithacodes fasciola - Yellow-shouldered Slug Moth

122 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-07-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2024-07-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2024-07-08
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2024-07-07
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-07-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-06-26
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2024-06-25
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-06-23
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-06-23
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik, Patrick Coin on 2024-06-22
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell and Simpson Eason on 2024-06-21
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish, Lior S. Carlson on 2024-06-17
Lincoln Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Steve Hall, Patrick Coin, Mark Basinger on 2024-06-16
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-06-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-06-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2024-05-25
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2024-05-25
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-05-23
Wilson Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-05-23
Wilson Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-05-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Emily Stanley on 2024-05-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Rich Teper on 2024-05-13
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Rich Teper on 2024-05-13
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2024-04-29
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper on 2024-04-17
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper on 2024-04-16
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-10-06
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: R. Teper, David George on 2023-09-25
Caswell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2023-08-21
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-07-31
Macon Co.
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