Moths of North Carolina
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8 NC Records

Hypomecis buchholzaria (Lemmer, 1937) - Buchholz's Hypomecis

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Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: BoarmiiniP3 Number: 910852.00 MONA Number: 6438.00
Comments: One of five currently recognized species in this genus that occur in North America (Rindge, 1973; Blanchard and Knudson, 1984). Four have been recorded in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Rindge (1954); Schweitzer et al. (2011)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner et al. (2002); Schweitzer et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A dark, brownish-black Hypomecis. Forbes (1948) and Rindge (1974) described buchholzaria as being darker than the other species in this genus; Rindge also noted that the lines and spots were less constrasting and more poorly developed in buchholzaria and the undersides of the wings particularly darker than the others. However, a very black form of the umbrosaria/gnopharia complex is fairly common in the Sandhills and Coastal Plain that may, in fact, be even darker than is typical for buchholzaria. Forbes mentioned that buchholzaria has a violet tinge missing in the other species, but Rindge states that this tinge is present only in some individuals. The most reliable characters for separating buchholzaria are the structural features described below.
Adult Structural Features: Males lack a fovea on the forewing (Rindge, 1973). The relative length of the setae (bristles) located at the end of the tegumen processes (located on either side of the uncus) to the length of the processes themselves are characteristic of each species of Hypomecis. In buchholzaria, the setae are about 1.5 x as long as the processes, whereas the ratio is about equal in umbrosaria/gnopharia and about 2.75 x in longipectinaria (Rindge, 1954; Blanchard and Knudson, 1984. Note that Forbes has Figures 75 and 76 reversed in this regard). Additionally, Forbes (1948) states that male buchholzaria lack a hair pencil on the hind tibiae, which is found in umbrosaria. However, Rindge found that the hair pencil is also lacking in four out of five males in umbrosaria, and therefore cannot be used as reliably as the genitalic differences (see Rindge, 1954, for more details and illustrations concerning the differences in genitalia of both the males and the females in this genus).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: Late instar larvae of both buchholzaria and umbrosaria were described by Forbes (1948) as "mottled light brown or red-brown flecked with yellow". The subdorsal warts were also enlarged on segment A2. Wagner et al. (2002), however, say that the abdomen in buchholzaria lacks warts, unlike the case for umbrosaria. They also state that buchholzaria tends to be tan to rusty-green, with the dorsal and subspiracular stripes broken into spots; in umbrosaria, these stripes are vague but apparently unbroken along the length of the body (see compare the photograph of umbrosaria given in Wagner et al., with that of buccholzaria given in Schweitzer et al., 2011).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Appears to be limited to the southern half of the Coastal Plain, including the Fall-line Sandhills. In other states, it has apparently been recorded as far west as the foothills of the Appalachians (Wagner et al., 2002).
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)

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Immature 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: Not enough data exists from North Carolina to determine a pattern
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Buchholz's Hypomecis appears to be strongly associated with dry-xeric oak barrens throughout its range, which is consistent with our findings in North Carolina: habitats in our state include both xeric sandridges in the Outer Coastal Plain and presumably similar dry oak forest in the Fall-line Sandhills.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae have been reared -- probably by Lemmer -- on Sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina) (Forbes, 1948; Rindge, 1954). Wagner et al. (2002) also mention Sweet-gale (Myrica gale) and Oak, and Schweitzer et al (2011) report that larvae will accept Bayberry (Morella spp). While Sweet-fern occurs in the Fall-line Sandhills, it is not known to be present in the Outer Coastal Plain of North Carolina. In that area, J.B. Sullivan has found a larva of buchholzaria on Turkey Oak, which was subsequently reared on that plant to adulthood. - View
Observation Methods: Appears to come to blacklights to some extent, but how reliably is not yet known (Schweitzer et al., 2011). Despite this species having been targeted in several moth surveys conducted in the Sandhills and Outer Coastal Plain, the only recent record we have for this species comes from a larva reared by J.B. Sullivan.
See also Habitat Account for Xeric-Mesic, Sandy Woodlands and Scrub
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G3G4 S1S2
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 recent records for this species despite the extensive surveys that have been conducted in apparently suitable habitats in North Carolina. As with several other species associated with dry-xeric oak habitats in the Coastal Plain -- including Acronicta albarufa, Heterocampa varia, and Catocala jair -- we are uncertain as to the causes of their apparent rarity.