Moths of North Carolina
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167 NC Records

Macaria fissinotata (Walker, [1863]) - Hemlock Angle


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: MacariiniP3 Number: 910768.00 MONA Number: 6348.00 MONA Synonym: Semiothisa fissinotata
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: Fissinotata is included in the conifer-feeding signaria species group by Ferguson (2008), of which pinistrobata, signaria, and granitaria are the other members that occur in North Carolina (two others, marmorata and oweni, have also been doubtfully recorded).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Semiothisa fissinotata); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Ferguson (2008)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Maier et al., 2013                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Members of the signaria group are similar to other Macaria in their angled hindwings and sub-falcate forewings, but are distinguished from other North Carolina Macaria in possessing a grayish rather than a yellowish head (Forbes, 1948). All members of this group are generally similar in their pattern of lines and spots. Fissinotata is the most lightly marked, least contrasting member of this group. The median line is often faint or absent, especially in males, and the postmedian is distinctive among members of this group by being nearly straight rather than waved. The pre-apical spot and spot patch on the subterminal line at the end of the cell are usually weak or occasionally missing, again particularly in males.
Adult Structural Features: All members of the signaria group have males with foveae (Ferguson, 2008).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are green with pale lateral stripes and a frosted dorsal surface; the head has dark brown markings (Maier et al., 2013). Several other conifer-feeding species of Macaria have similar larvae and fissinotata, in particular, overlaps with signaria in their use of Hemolock and Spruce; larvae found on those hosts need to be reared for a positive identification (Maier et al., 2013).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Restricted to the Mountains and to the high, montane-like habitats of the Sauratown Mountains in the western Piedmont.
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 have a single flight period spread over the entire growing season, from spring to early fall.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Habitats used in the Mountains include both mesic sites, including cove and riparian forests, and dry slopes and ridges. In some of the drier sites, Carolina Hemlock may be used but Eastern Hemlock is likely to be the main host used in most other areas.
Larval Host Plants: Possibly monophagous or narrowly stenophagous, feeding primarily on Hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis and possibly Tsuga carolinus); later instar larvae would also feed on other conifers (Ferguson, 1974). Maier et al. (2013) report that it rarely uses Spruce (Picea).
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 Hemlock Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Currently, this species still appears to be fairly common but is highly threatened by the ongoing devastation of Hemlocks due to the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. Unless it can switch to using other species of conifers (as seems possible from captive rearing), there is at least some potential for it to become extirpated from the state. Although it is not currently tracked by the Natural Heritage Program, we recommend that it be added to the Watch List and its status closely monitored.

 Photo Gallery for Macaria fissinotata - Hemlock Angle

Photos: 19

Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-06-28
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-20
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-05
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-04
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-04-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-08-28
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-20
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-07-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-04-23
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-08-01
Ashe Co.
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