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

Diastictis ventralis (Grote & Robinson, 1867) - White-spotted Brown Moth

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Superfamily: Pyraloidea Family: CrambidaeSubfamily: PyraustinaeTribe: SpilomeliniP3 Number: 801166.00 MONA Number: 5255.00
Comments: North Carolina has three described species of crambid moths in the genus Diastictis that are so similar that they cannot be identified using external morphology. The patterns and colors vary a lot within species, and the overlap between species is sufficiently high to require either genitalia or molecular barcoding for identification. Samea baccatalis was recently transferred to the genus Diastictis (Pohl and Nanz, 2023) based on unpublished data on genitalia differences, but a molecular analysis that we conducted suggests that Samea baccatalis doesn’t belong to either genus. We have elected to leave this as Samea baccatalis until a more comprehensive study is conducted to determine the appropriate placement of this species with regards to genus.
Species Status: "All probably need to be dissected to be certain of ID" (Scholtens, 2017)
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Munroe (1956)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: North Carolina has three described species of crambid moths in the genus Diastictis that are so similar that they cannot be identified using external morphology and require either genitalia or molecular barcoding. The following is a general description that applies to all. The ground color of the forewing can vary for brown to yellowish or yellowish orange. The ground is overlain with silvery spots that commonly are arranged in the following sequence: 1) one or two basal (antemedial) spots near the middle of the wing at about one-fourth the wing length, with the one nearer the inner margin the larger, 2) two spots near the middle of the wing, with the one nearer the inner margin the larger, 3) a triplet of small spots close to the costa at around three-fourths the wing length, and 4) a second triplet of spots in the subterminal area and closer to the anal angle. Expect significant variation from the general pattern above. In particular the antemedial spots may or may not be present, the spots may or may not have a thin black margin, the spots may vary from being prominent to being minute or obscure, and certain spots on the terminal half may or may not be present. The hindwings are unmarked and typically light brown to grayish-brown.
Adult Structural Features: Munroe (1956) has descriptions and illustrations of the male and female genitalia.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: The larval life history is undocumented.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The distribution of this species is poorly documented due to the unreliability of species identifications based on museum records or photographs. Munroe (1956) identified specimens from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine. This species also occurs in Canada from British Columbia eastward to Quebec and New Brunswick (Munroe, 1956; Pohl et al., 2018).
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)

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Flight Comments: As of 2023, our two dated records are from early to mid-July.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our only collection records are from a mountain meadow and a residential neighborhood with mesic hardwood forest.
Larval Host Plants: The hosts are apparently undocumented. - View
Observation Methods: The adults are attracted to lights.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
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: This species appears to be uncommon in the state, but more information is needed on its distribution, abundance, preferred habitats and host plants before we can accurately assess its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Diastictis ventralis - White-spotted Brown Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2018-05-11
Cabarrus Co.