Moths of North Carolina
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193 NC Records

Palpita magniferalis (Walker, 1861) - Splendid Palpita Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Pyraloidea Family: CrambidaeSubfamily: PyraustinaeTribe: SpilomeliniP3 Number: 801325.00 MONA Number: 5226.00
Comments: One of twelve species in this genus recorded in North America north of Mexico (Scholtens and Solis, 2015). Munroe (1952) placed magniferalis in his Illibalis Species Group, which in North Carolina also includes arsaltealis, illibalis, freemanalis, and aenescentalis.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Munroe (1952)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A small, gray and brown blotched Pyraustine. The forewings are marked with extensive areas of pale gray; the abdomen is also pale gray and irreglarly marked with fuscous. The orbicular and reniform are contrastingly black, and large fuscous patch is often present beyond the reniform and a brown postmedian patch may also be present (Munroe, 1952). Most of the forewing is marked with fucous speckling. Hind wings are translucent pale gray with light fuscous speckling. The winter form of freemanalis is very similar but smaller.
Forewing Length: 12-13 mm (Munroe,1952)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution:
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: Our records come from both upland and bottomland habitats, corresponding to its association with both White and Green Ash. Both natural stands are used as are wooded residential neighborhoods.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on Ash species (Robinson et al., 2010) Munroe (1952) specifically lists Fraxinus americanus, nigra, and pennsylvanica. A NC record from Dismal Swamp State Park (NRID, accessed 2022-08-07) indicates it probably uses Carolina Ash, since that is the only species of Fraxinus recorded at that site. Additionally, a larva has been photographed on Swamp Privet, Forestiera acuminata, in Texas (George Smiley, BugGuide, accessed 2022-08-7). That species only reaches as far north as South Carolina. The possibility that magniferalis can feed on introduced species of Ligustrum is currently not known.
Observation Methods: Adults come well to blacklights
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Ash Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Wagner and Todd (2016) list this species as having a High Endangerment Risk due to the impacts of the Emerald Ash Borer. Recent (2022) records from a bottomland that has been hard-hit by the Emerald Ash Borer indicate that magniferalis may be able to use Ash saplings, which are still common; Chinese privet, however, is also present and its use as larval foodplant needs to be determined.

 Photo Gallery for Palpita magniferalis - Splendid Palpita Moth

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-08-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-08-03
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-08-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2022-07-30
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-07-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Lior Carlson, Becky Watkins, Richard Teper, Stephen Dunn on 2022-07-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson, Stephen Dunn on 2022-07-15
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-07-12
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-07-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Becky Watkins on 2022-07-07
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2022-07-06
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-07-04
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-02
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Richard Teper on 2022-06-16
Macon Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-15
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-06-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-05-29
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-05-17
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2022-05-03
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-04-23
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-04-13
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-03-03
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-02-25
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2021-09-10
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2021-08-10
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Lior Carlson on 2021-07-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-22
Durham Co.
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