Moths of North Carolina
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125 NC Records

Macaria granitata Guenée, [1858] - Granite Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: MacariiniP3 Number: 910771.00 MONA Number: 6352.00 MONA Synonym: Semiothisa granitata
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: Granitata is included in the conifer-feeding signaria species group by Ferguson (2008), of which pinistrobata, fissinotata, and signaria 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 granitata)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Ferguson (2008)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Maier et al. (2013)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Similar to other Macaria in their angled hindwings and sub-falcate forewings, but members of this species group are distinguished from all 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. Granitata is the most mottled member of this group, with strong contrasts between the gray basal area, white or cream area between the median and postmedian lines, and the dark gray subterminal area. All lines and spots are well-marked, with the postmedian being waved and undulate rather than straight; the median and antemedian lines often jagged or dentate. The large pre-apical spot at the costal end of the subterminal line is usually a bright red-brown rather than the darker brown or black spot typical of pinistrobata, which can otherwise be very similar in appearance (see Ferguson, 1974, 2008, and Covell, 1984, for details).
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 blue-green with pale lateral stripes and a dark dorsal surface; the head is green with dark brown markings (Maier et al., 2013). The blue-green color and dark mid-dorsal line help distinguish granitata from two other species of Macaria that feed on hard-pines: M. transitaria and M. bicolorata (Maier et al., 2013).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This is the only member of this species group whose range extends well into the Piedmont. It has not been recorded in the Coastal Plain, however, including areas where Pond Pine (P. serotina), a close relative of Pitch Pine, occurs.
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 occur throughout the growing season, with peaks in late spring and late summer.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Both Pitch Pine and Scrub Pine are associated primarily with dry ridges and other upland habitats; Scrub Pine also occurs in a variety of succesional habitats. In the Mountains, Macaria granitaria occurs both on slopes and ridges as well as lower areas, such as New River State Park, where old field habitats are common. In the Piedmont, records come again from dry ridges, including monadnock habitats in the Uwharries, as well as dry barrens and successional habitats.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding solely on hard pines, particularly Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida) and Scrub Pine (P. virginiana) (Fertguson, 1974; Wagner et al., 2001; Ferguson, 2008; Maier et al., 2013). In North Carolina, its range extends well beyond the limits of Pitch Pine, which is confined to the Mountains. Across the Piedmont, it probably feeds primarily on Scrub Pine.
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 Dry-Xeric Pine Forests and Woodlands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S4S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Although fairly narrow in its host plant preferences, granitaria feeds on fairly common to abundant species and occupies a fairly wide range of upland habitats, including successional stands. It also has a fairly wide geographic range in the state and appears to be secure.

 Photo Gallery for Macaria granitata - Granite Moth

Photos: 30

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-08-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-06-21
Caswell Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-30
Madison 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: tom ward on 2021-09-29
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2021-09-13
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-09-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-08-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-04-29
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-09-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-04-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-08-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-08-13
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn on 2017-09-27
Stokes Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn on 2017-09-27
Stokes Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall, Ed Corey, and Brian Bockhahan on 2017-05-17
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-08-10
Cherokee Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Ed Corey on 2015-05-16
Alleghany Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2014-05-13
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf, B Bockhahn on 2014-05-12
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger on 2013-08-27
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2013-05-30
Mecklenburg Co.
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