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

Orthofidonia exornata (Walker, 1862) - No Common Name

view caption
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: BoarmiiniP3 Number: 910843.00 MONA Number: 6429.00
Comments: A North American genus of three species found mostly in Eastern Canada and down through the mountains to North Carolina and Georgia. All three species have similar ranges and life histories. They do not appear to be closely related to any other Geometrid genera.
Species Status: Readily distinguished from the other two species which barcode together. Specimens from North Carolina have not been examined but those from Maryland and Virginia are similar to Canadian specimens.
Field Guide Descriptions: Not in either field guideOnline Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Of the three species this one has the trace of a broad, white postmedian line on the blackish forewing. Worn specimens can be very difficult to distinguish from O. tinctaria. Sexes are similar.
Adult Structural Features: The number of cornuti in the vesica of the aedeagus differentiates O. exornata from O. tinctaria. In North Carolina specimens the number varies from 2-4 and in Canadian specimens from 2-3 (McGuffin, 1977). In O. tinctaria there are usually 6-9 cornuti and in O. flavivenata there are usually 4-6 but maculation will distinguish this latter species.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are lime-green with a dull reddish mid-dorsal stripe (see Wagner et al., 2001, for an illustration and detailed description). Wagner et al. recommend that larvae of this genus all be reared in order to determine their identity.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably restricted to the 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: Single brooded in the spring but there are not a lot of records because few observers are active at higher altitudes in May and early June. Wagner et al (2001) report that the order of species’ appearance is O. flaviventata, then O. tinctaria and finally O. exornata with a week or so separating emergences.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from upland stands of hardwoods, primarily peaks and ridges above 3,500'.
Larval Host Plants: Reported to be Viburnum for all three species but given that the three species seem to occur together over most of their range, fly at approximately the same time of the year and utilize similar habitats, one would expect specialization perhaps of each species to a different species of Viburnum. - View
Observation Methods: Adults come to light but doubtfully to bait and have not been reported to be day flyers.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have very few records for this species, but its host plants suggest that it should be fairly widespread in the Mountains. More data are needed on the host plants used in North Carolina, as well as its specific habitat associations, before its conservation status can be assessed.