Moths of North Carolina
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315 NC Records

Macaria aequiferaria Walker, 1861 - Woody Angle

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Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: MacariiniP3 Number: 910755.00 MONA Number: 6335.00 MONA Synonym: Semiothisa aequiferaria
Comments: One of 25 species in this genus -- commonly known as Angles (as in angular, referring to the wing shape) -- that occur in North America; 17 have been reported from North Carolina.
Species Status: Aequiferaria is included in the conifer-feeding bicolorata species group by Ferguson (2008), of which bisignata, bicolorata, transitaria, distribuaria, and minorata are the other members that occur in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Semiothisa aequiferaria); Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Ferguson (2008)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Ferguson (2008)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A moderately small, dark gray to yellowish tan Geometrid. Pattern and coloration are similar to Macaria aemulataria, with which it occurs in swamps containing a mixture of Bald Cypress and Red Maple. In addition to the structural features of the males, the spring form of aequiferaria is much darker gray than aemulataria and the paler summer form is usually more yellowish, often with the subterminal area darker than the basal area. Females of the summer form, however, may be very similar to those of aemulataria but usually have a shallower and less conspicuously darkened subapical notch on the outer margin; the spot patch on the subterminal line is also usually not as divided by the yellow vein lines (Ferguson, 2008). As in other members of this species group, the head is red or ocher, contrasting with the gray or brown thorax and abdomen.
Adult Structural Features: Males possess a fovea, which can usually be seen in good quality, well-lit photos; this is missing from aemulataria and other Macaria species that occur in the Coastal Plain. They also possess strongly serrate or bipectinate (according to Ferguson, 2008) antennae; although the antennae of aemulataria males are also serrate, they are much less so; the two can usually be easily separated when seen side by side. Unlike aemulataria males, the hind tibiae are conspicuously swollen in aequiferaria and the metatarsus is reduced in size. A pecten is also present on the third abdominal sternite in aequiferaria but is missing in aemulataria (Ferguson, 2008).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are green or brown but have a distinctive pattern of stripes and dark sport or bars (Ferguson, 2008). The subdorsal line is pure white and partially constricted above by a series of black dashes and bounded below by a wide dark band. A pale lateral stripe also exists, broken by a series of black blotches (see Ferguson, 2008, for an illustration and more details).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The majority of our records come from cypress-containing habitats in the Coastal Plain. However, it is also found in the eastern portion of the Piedmont in areas where cypress occurs naturally (e.g., along the Tar River near Louisburg) or from the edges of large reservoirs (e.g., Lake Gaston and Kerr Lake) where cypress may have been introduced.
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: Appears to be present throughout the growing season, from late winter to fall.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have records from both riverine and non-riverine swamp forests dominated by Bald Cypress, as well as from Carolina Bays and Cypress Savannas dominated by Pond Cypress.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding on Cypress (Ferguson, 2008). From our records, it appears to feed on both Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) and Pond Cypress (T. ascendens).
Observation Methods: Comes well to 15 watt blacklights but we do not have any records from either bait or flowers.
See also Habitat Account for Cypress Swamps and Savannas
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 feeds solely on cypress and occurs in only a narrow range of habitat types, cypress swamps and savannas are still plentiful in the Coastal Plain and portions of the adjoining Piedmont. It is threatened, however, by habitat loss due to the creation of impoundments, conversion of Carolina Bays to agriculture and silviculture, and to the effects of sea level rise and salt water intrusion in tidewater areas. Nonetheless, as long as cypresses themselves remain a common species, Macaria aequiferaria is also likely to persist.

 Photo Gallery for Macaria aequiferaria - Woody Angle

Photos: 17

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-02-17
Beaufort Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-30
Bladen Co.
Recorded by: Thomas C Reed on 2019-09-07
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Salman Abdulali on 2019-06-28
Pitt Co.
Recorded by: Salman Abdulali on 2018-06-14
Pitt Co.
Recorded by: Alicia Jackson on 2017-07-10
Tyrrell Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger on 2017-04-12
Gates Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger on 2017-04-12
Gates Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2016-03-13
Warren Co.
Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2015-06-10
Washington Co.
Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2012-07-03
Camden Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2012-05-26
Halifax Co.
Comment: Late spring phase female; identified based on the shallow subapical notch (cypress swamp habitat)
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2012-05-25
Halifax Co.
Comment: Late spring phase female; identified on the basis of the shallow subapical notch (cypress swamp habitat)
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-04-15
Warren Co.
Comment: Early spring phase male; fovea is evident (pale brown bulges at the bases of the wings); shallow subapical notch
Recorded by: SPH on 1997-08-25
Martin Co.
Comment: Summer phase male (serrate antennae, swollen hind tibiae, foveae); wingspan = 2.2 cm; forewing length = 1.2 cm
Recorded by: SPH on 1997-08-25
Martin Co.
Comment: Summer phase female; wingspan = 2.3 cm; forewing length = 1.3 cm
Recorded by: SPH on 1996-04-18
Martin Co.
Comment: Spring phase female