Moths of North Carolina
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9 NC Records

Apoda rectilinea (Grote & Robinson, 1868) - Rectilinea Slug Moth

Superfamily: Zygaenoidea Family: LimacodidaeP3 Number: 660026.00 MONA Number: 4668.00
Comments: This is one of five species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico. Three have been recorded in North Carolina.
Species Status: The type locality is South Carolina (Grote and Robinson, 1868).
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Grote and Robinson (1868)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: In this species the head, palps, antennae, thorax, dorsum of the abdomen, and ground color of the forewings vary from light tan to reddish-brown, and often have a scattered dusting of fine blackish specks. The most prominent mark is a creamy white, posteriorly oblique, median line with a thin black border on the proximal margin. The band extends from just before the middle of the inner margin to just beyond the middle of the costa and is followed by a grayish or yellowish shade that is usually lighter than the basal area. A dark line is also usually evident that extends from the costa at around three-fourths to the dorsal half of the termen. A spot of basal color is sometimes present at the anal angle, similar to that of A. biguttata (Grote and Robinson, 1868). The hindwings are distinctively dark fuscous. Apoda y-inversum has a similar pattern but the whitish median line is not bordered by black, and the median area is either darker than the basal area or the same shade. The hindwing is also pale yellow, or at least not markedly darker than the forewing.
Wingspan: 22 mm (Grote and Robinson, 1868)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history has not been described.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Apoda rectilinea has southern affinities and is found from southeastern North Carolina southward along the Coastal Plain to southern Florida, and westward to western Texas and southern New Mexico. Two isolated records are also known from southern Illinois and northern Indiana. The status of populations in Texas and New Mexico are in need of study since a similar form that has been treated as both a subspecies of A. rectilinea, and as a full species (A. latomia), are both present in the region. As of 2023, all of our records are from the Fall-line Sandhills.
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: The adults fly from March through October in Florida, and mostly from May through August elsewhere in the range. As of 2023, our records are from late-May through mid-July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All of our records come from stream-head hardwoods that are imbedded in extensive areas of xeric, Longleaf Pine-dominated sandhills.
Larval Host Plants: The larval host plants are apparently unknown. - View
Observation Methods: Our records come from the use of blacklight traps, but we have too few data to determine how strongly the adults are attracted to lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S1S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: As of 2023, we have only six site records of this species from North Carolina, and it appears to be at least somewhat specialized in terms of habitat. However, much more needs to be learned about its distribution, abundance, host plant preferences, and habitat associations in North Carolina before we can accurately assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Apoda rectilinea - Rectilinea Slug Moth

Photos: 2

Recorded by: Richard Teper on 2022-05-31
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2001-07-11
Hoke Co.