Moths of North Carolina
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1 NC Records

Hesperumia sulphuraria Packard, 1873 - Sulphur Moth

Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: BoarmiiniP3 Number: 910845.00 MONA Number: 6431.00
Comments: A genus of 6 species, 2 from Japan and 4 from the United States. One species, the type for the genus, occurs in our area but is far more common in California.
Species Status: Although no specimens from North Carolina have been barcoded, one from Maryland has and matches specimens across Canada to British Columbia. Specimens from California are not conspecific and the genus in western North American needs revision.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This medium sized pale yellow geometrid with a large brown discal spot is unlikely to be mistaken for any other species. In addition to the typical form, three other named forms are known (see Forbes, 1948), none of which have been recorded in North Carolina.
Adult Structural Features: Both male and female genitalia have unique characters and are very diagnostic.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae vary from tan, gray, green, rose or lavender, but have a characteristic raised area above the spiracle on A2 (see photo and description in Wagner et al., 2001).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This is a northern and western species known in North Carolina only from Hanging Rock State Park. A record is also shown on the Moth Photographers Website for the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and one from eastern Kentucky; otherwise it occurs sparsely in the East from West Virginia nortward.
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: Known specimens collected in mid-June and single brooded.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Wagner et al., (2001) describe this species as occurring in forests, woodlands, and shrubby habitats. The habitat at Hanging Rock was a pine-hardwood mixture including Virginia and Short Leaf pines among oaks and hickories in a dry-mesic ericaceous environment. However, we have too little information to determine its full range of habitats used in the extreme southern part of its range.
Larval Host Plants: Recorded from many plants indicating that it is widely polyphagous (Wagner et al., 2001). - View
Observation Methods: Collected at light traps, not expected at bait but may occasionally be active during the day.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [SU]
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 at the southern edge of its range in North Carolina, where it is currently known only from a single site and date. While several other species have well-known disjunct populations at Hanging Rock State Park -- e.g., Catocala herodias, Stenoporpia polygrammaria, and the salamander, Plethodon wehrlei -- the nature of its host plant use and habitat associations need to be better understood and a greater effort needs to be made to look for this species at other comparable sites along the Blue Ridge before its conservation status can be truly assessed.

 Photo Gallery for Hesperumia sulphuraria - Sulphur Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: JBS on 1996-06-18
Stokes Co.