Moths of North Carolina
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350 NC Records

Speranza pustularia (Guenée, [1858]) - Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: MacariiniP3 Number: 910735.00 MONA Number: 6273.00 MONA Synonym: Itame pustularia
Comments: One of fifty species in this genus that occur in North America (Ferguson, 2008), three of which have been recorded in North Carolina (Brimley, 1938, also included S. coortaria, but his specimen in the NCSU collection belongs to S. pustularia instead).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Itame pustularia); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Ferguson (2008)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner et al. (2001); Wagner, 2005; Ferguson (2008)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Speranza pustularia is a medium-sized, glossy white Geometrid. Like other members of the Macarini, but unlike all other white Geometrids in our area, its forewings are subfalcate and the hindwing somewhat pointed (Forbes, 1948). Usually, the wings are crossed by three well-defined, reddish-brown transverse lines, although they are obscure in some specimens or marked only at the costa. There may also be a band of dare speckles in the subterminal area and a terminal series of dark spots or dashes.
Adult Structural Features: Males have pectinate antennae and are foveate. Females also show a slightly developed fovea.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are blue-green (Forbes, 1948) or occasionally wine red (Wagner et al., 2001). A fairly broad pale subdorsal stripe runs along the length of the body and there is also a somewhat darkened dorsal line that is bounded by narrow pale stripes (Wagner et al., 2002).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found statewide, from the Barrier Island to High Mountains
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: Univoltine, flying mainly in the spring and summer
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: North Carolina records come from a wide variety of hardwood habitats, especially wet or mesic sites but at least some from dry ridges.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding on Maples, particularly Red Maple (Forbes, 1948; Wagner et al., 2001; Ferguson, 2008). Other species that have been reported as host plants include Sugar Maple, Silver Maple, and Mountain Maple (Ferguson, 2008).
Observation Methods: Comes well to black lights but we do not have any records from bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Maple Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Although this species uses only a narrow range of host plants, it is as abundant and ubiquitous as its main host plant, Red Maple, and appears to be equally secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Speranza pustularia - Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-10
Watauga Co.
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Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2022-07-03
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-24
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-06-20
Caswell Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson, Stephen Dunn on 2022-06-18
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-06-15
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-06-14
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-06-13
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-06-06
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-06-06
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-06-06
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson, Stephen Dunn on 2022-06-04
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-06-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-06-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2022-06-02
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-06-02
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-05-31
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2022-05-31
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-05-30
Wake 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 2022-05-28
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-05-26
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2022-05-19
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-05-19
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-05-18
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: Owen McConnell on 2021-07-15
Graham Co.
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