Moths of North Carolina
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18 NC Records

Digrammia ordinata (Walker, 1862) - Amorpha Angle

Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: MacariiniP3 Number: 910803.00 MONA Number: 6358.00 MONA Synonym: Semiothisa ordinata
Comments: One of 49 species in this genus recorded in North America (Ferguson, 2008), six of which occur in North Carolina. Digrammia ordinata, eremiata, and ocellinata were placed in the legume-feeding Eremiata Species Group by Ferguson.
Species Status: A medium-sized, pale, powdery grayish-brown Geometrid with rounded or only slightly angled wings. The antemedian, median, and postmedian lines are usually prominent, with the postmedian usually consisting of a chain of small dark dots (Ferguson, 2008). Specimens of D. ocellinata may be similar but usually have a more falcate apex to the forewing and a more angled outer margin on the hindwing (Ferguson, 2008). Specimens of D. eremiata usually have more continuous and well developed lines than ordinata; the ground color is also usually darker beyond the postmedian line in eremiata, whereas it remains pale in ordinata (Forbes, 1948). Worn or otherwise poorly marked individuals of these species may need to be dissected in order to determine their identities.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Ferguson (2008)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Ferguson (2008)                                                                                 
Adult Structural Features: Genitalia are distinctive in both sexes (described and illustrated in Ferguson, 2008). Antennae are simple in both sexes. Males have swollen hind tibiae.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Most of our records come from the Coastal Plain but records from Mecklenburg County indicate that it could also be present in at least scattered locations throughout the 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: Possibly bivoltine, with peaks in adult flights in the spring/early summer and late summer
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Almost all of our records come from Longleaf Pine habitats, including both sandhills and more mesic flatwoods and savannas; several species of Amorpha occur in those habitats. The one Piedmont location for this species is located along the Catawba River, where Amorpha fruticosa is the likely host plant.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding on species of Lead Plant (Amorpha spp.). J.B. Sullivan has reared larvae collected from Amorpha fruticosa in the North Carolina Coastal Plain. - View
Observation Methods: Comes at least in small numbers to blacklights. Individuals can also be flushed during the day.
See also Habitat Account for Loamy, Fire-maintained Herblands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S3
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Although this species can be locally common in areas where Amorpha is abundant, we have records from relatively few sites. Longleaf Pine habitats, with which this species is strongly associated, have severely declined since the Colonial era due to the combined effects of over harvest of Longleaf Pines, conversion to agriculture or silviculture, and suppression of wildfires. Apart from several large tracts on lands managed through use of prescribed burning, these habitats are likely to continue to decline into the future. Use of Amorpha fruticosa in non-Longleaf habitats indicates that it may be more widespread than previously thought, but only one such site has been recorded so far.

 Photo Gallery for Digrammia ordinata - Amorpha Angle

Photos: 2

Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2014-06-23
Pender Co.
Comment: Several fresh individuals were seen in a savanna where Amorpha was common
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn on 2014-06-16
Harnett Co.