Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 89 NC Records

Eumacaria madopata (Guenée, [1858]) - Brown-bordered Geometer Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: MacariiniP3 Number: 910690.00 MONA Number: 6272.00 MONA Synonym: Eumacaria latiferrugata
Comments: The sole species in this genus and entirely confined to North America (Ferguson, 2008)
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Eumacaria lateferrugata); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Ferguson (2008)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1938); Wagner et al. (2001); Ferguson (2008)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-small Geometrid that is similar to Trigrammia and Macaria species in possessing subfalcate forewings and angled hindwings. The ground color is typically pale gray, crossed by fine brown antemedial, medial, and postmedial lines. The antemedian is bent or strongly angled where it crosses the radial vein and the medial line may also be bent close to the costa (Ferguson, 2008). The postmedian is usually strong, even, slightly sinuous and edged on the outward side by a fine pale line (Forbes, 1948). In some individuals, the area between the postmedian and the outer margin is much darker than the median and basal areas, and crossed by fine pale lines along the veins. In others, the outer portion of the wing is more concolorous, with only a slightly greater amount of dark dusting than in the basal portion. Although the paler form is supposedly more typical of Southeastern populations (Forbes, 1948; Ferguson, 2008), both forms occur in North Carolina, with the darker form possibly being more prevalent. Pale form individuals can be confused with Trigrammia quadrinotaria, which has a more even antemedian line and possesses dark dots in the subterminal areas of all four wings. Both dark and pale forms may be confused with Digrammia species, which again have an evenly curved antemedian and also possess more rounded wings.
Adult Structural Features: The antennae is bipectinate in males and subpectinate in females (Forbes, 1948), unlike the case in Digrammia and Trigrammia and most species of Macaria, where the antennae of both sexes is simple. Males possess foveae but have relatively slender, unmodified hind tibiae (Ferguson, 2008).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are fairly stout inchworms with a dark reddish-brown to gray-brown body (Wagner et al., 2001; Ferguson, 2008). Whitish longitudial stripes are present but may be obscured by the dark markings; some larvae may be largely black (Forbes, 1938). See Wagner et al. and Ferguson for illustrations and additional details.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Recorded primarily in the southern half of the Coastal Plain, including the Fall-line Sandhills. A few records also exist for the Piedmont, including as far west as Mecklenburg County
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
Flight Comments: Found throughout the growing season in the Coastal Plain with two main peaks, in spring and summer
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Apart from a few sites in the Piedmont where habitats were not recorded, our records come from Longleaf Pine habitats or from adjacent wetlands in the Coastal Plain. Most records are from wet savannas and flatwoods, but there are also some from dry sandhills habitats, although usually where wetlands are present, including Carolina Bays, depression ponds, or riparian edges. Although these habitats are similar to the sand plains and barrens used by this species in the Northeast (Wagner et al., 2001), species of Prunus are far more marginal in Longleaf Pine habitats than they are up north and some other species of Rosaceae may be the principal host used in North Carolina. Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) seems like an especially likely candidate, since it is strongly associated with wet savannas, pocosins, bogs, and swamps (Weakley, 2015). While Black Cherry could be used in some of these areas, Eumacaria occurs only marginally in the Piedmont, where that species is more frequent, and has not been recorded at all in the Mountains where other species of Prunus occur that are used in the northern and western portions of its range.
Larval Host Plants: Oligophagous, feeding on woody species of the Rose family. Forbes (1948) and Wagner et al. (2001) specifically list Apple, Cherry, and Plum, with Black Cherry and Pin Cherry being preferred in some areas (Wagner et al., 2001). The distribution of this species in North Carolina, however, suggests that other host plants are also used, possibly Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia).
Observation Methods: Comes well to blacklights but we have no records from bait or flowers.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Rosaceous Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W5]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S3S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Ferguson (2008) noted that despite the wide distribution and frequency of the host plants used by Eumacaria (referring to Prunus species), this species is generally uncommon to rare over most of its range. In North Carolina, moreover, it appears to be strongly associated with Longleaf Pine habitats, which have undergone a severe reduction since European settlement. Like all species associated with those habitats, its security in the state depends on appropriate management of its few remaining habitats, including through the careful use of prescribed burning.

 Photo Gallery for Eumacaria madopata - Brown-bordered Geometer Moth

Photos: 4

Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-10
Richmond Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Taylor Piephoff on 2013-05-30
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 1999-04-15
Bladen Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 2.1cm; forewing length = 1.2cm
Recorded by: JBS on 1994-04-11
Brunswick Co.
Comment: Dark form; deposited at the NCSU Insect Museum. Wingspan = 2.2 cm; forewing length = 0.8 cm.