Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFGeometridae Members: 395 NC Records

Macaria transitaria (Walker, 1861) - Blurry Chocolate Angle


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: MacariiniP3 Number: 910761.00 MONA Number: 6339.00 MONA Synonym: Semiothisa transitaria
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: Transitaria is included in the conifer-feeding bicolorata species group by Ferguson (2008), of which bisignata, bicolorata, distribuaria, minorata, and aeqiferaria are the other members that occur in North Carolina. Only the nominate subspecies occurs in North Carolina (Ferguson, 2008).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Semiothisa transitaria); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Ferguson (2008)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A dark grayish brown species with the angled hindwings and semi-falcate forewings typical of this genus. Smaller, darker, and less contrastingly marked than distriubuaria but otherswise similar in pattern. The lines are somewhat more diffuse than in distribuaria, with the median usually the strongest. As in most of our Macaria, the lines are represented by dark spots where they intersect the costa, but the spot or blotch that is usually present on the subterminal line at the end of the cell is missing in transitaria; the subapical notch is also weakly developed in this species. The ground color is fairly evenly gray- or chocolate-brown over most of the wing, unlike distribuaria, which has the basal and medial areas much paler. Like distribuaria, however, transitaria has a prominent band of more reddish brown between the postmedian and subterminal lines. The terminal area is mottled pale and dark gray with the apex usually a fairly clear pale gray. As in other members of this species group, the head is yellow or ocher, contrasting with the grayish-brown thorax and abdomen.
Forewing Length: 13-15 mm, males; 12.5-16 mm, females (Ferguson, 2008)
Adult Structural Features: Male antennae are similar to those of distribuaria, intermediate between laminate and bipectinate (Ferguson, 2008). Other structural features are also similar to those of distribuaria.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: With the exception of aequiferaria, larvae of the bicolorata species group are all similar to one another: glossy green or reddish with cream-colored subdorsal and subspiracular stripes that run the length of the body (see Wagner et al., 2001). Since both transitaria and bicolorata feed on a variety of pines, probably including Longleaf Pine that is also used by distribuaria, larvae need to be reared to adulthood to determine their species.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably occurs statewide, with the possible exception of the 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: Has a long flight period, from early spring to late fall, possibly divided into three main flights.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from a wide variety of pine-containing habitats. In the Coastal Plain, these include Maritime and Coastal Fringe Evergreen Forests and river floodplains where Loblolly is the main species of pine; peatlands, where Pond Pine is the sole species of pine; and both wet/mesic and xeric Longleaf Pine communities where Longleaf is dominant. In the Piedmont, we have a number of records from mafic barrens as well as monadnocks where Shortleaf and Scrub Pine are common. Both of those species are also found on the dry ridges where transitaria has been recorded in the Mountains, but also joined by Pitch Pine and Table Mountain Pine, both of which occur only in that region of the state.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding solely on hard pines. Maier et al. (2011) specifically mention Jack, Red, and Pitch Pines, only the latter of which occurs in North Carolina and only in the Mountains. Our records indicate that it probably feeds on a wide variety of hard pine species, including Loblolly, Pond, Longleaf, Shortleaf, and Scrub.
Observation Methods: Comes well to 15 watt blacklights but we do not have any records from either bait or flowers.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Pine Forests and Woodlands
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: This species appears to be quite secure in the state, given its wide distribution, use of multiple host plants -- many of which are common or cultivated -- and a wide range of habitats.

 Photo Gallery for Macaria transitaria - Blurry Chocolate Angle

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

Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-10-01
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2021-09-16
Cabarrus Co.
Comment: Uncommon
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-08-11
Chatham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-07-06
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-06-06
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-20
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-19
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-11
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-03
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-11
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-11-06
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-01
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-24
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-08-26
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-21
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-16
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-21
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-02
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-21
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-12
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-08
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-06-03
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-14
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-03
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-03
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-21
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-03-27
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-19
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-11
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-11
Guilford Co.
Comment: