Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFCrambidae Members:
Ostrinia Members:
4 NC Records

Ostrinia obumbratalis (Lederer, 1863) - Smartweed Borer Moth

Superfamily: Pyraloidea Family: CrambidaeSubfamily: PyraustinaeTribe: PyraustiniP3 Number: 801421.00 MONA Number: 4947.00
Comments: This genus was recently revised by Yang et al. (2021), with fifteen species now described worldwide. Four species occur in North America, all of which have been recorded in North Carolina. As described by Yang et al., Ostrinia ombratalalis is included in their Clade I, the Ombratalalis Species Group. In North Carolina, this group also includes O. multispinosus, a closely related species that was described by Yang et al.
Species Status:
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Munroe (1976)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Similar in size and appearance to O. penitalis but with a paler yellow or off-white ground color and brownish rather than reddish lines and shadings. The dash on the hindwing found in penitalis is missing in ombratalalis (Scholtens, 2017). As described by Yang et al. (2021), O. multispinosa is "is very similar to O. obumbratalis in external appearance, but the forewing transverse markings and
dentate subterminal band are somewhat less defined."
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are borers in several families of herbaceous plants (Munroe, 1976)
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
Habitats: We have one record from along the New River but with the exact habitat unrecorded. All of the rest of our records are historic (Brimley, 1938).
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on several families of herbaceous plants, including the Polygonaceae, Compositae, and Poaceae (Munroe, 1976; Robinson et al., 2010). Rosaceae are also reported (Robison et al., 2010). Some use is made of Corn, but this species is considered to be only a minor pest of that crop.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
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.

 Photo Gallery for Ostrinia obumbratalis - Smartweed Borer Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: Doug Blatny / Jackie Nelson on 2011-05-28
Ashe Co.