Moths of North Carolina
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2 NC Records

Pimaphera sparsaria (Walker, [1863]) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: BoarmiiniP3 Number: 910857.00 MONA Number: 6442.00
Comments: One of two species in this genus, both occurring in the southern United States (Cassino and Swett, 1927), only one of which has been recorded in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Walker (1862); Cassino and Swett (1927; characteristics of the genus)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-small, pale gray Geometrid. The ground color of both fore and hindwings is cinereous (Walker, 1862) -- ash gray with a slight coppery tint. A dark discal dot exists on both sets of wings. The lines are single and thin, accented with points on the veins and waved in between; the antemedian is usually incomplete (Walker, 1862). A terminal row of dots also exists as does a dorsal line of single dark points running down the abdomen. The description of this species by Walker (1862) does not contain enough information to distinguish sparsaria from P. percata (see Species Comments). Glenoides texanaria is similar in markings and male antennae, but males possess conspicuous foveae on the forewings, which are absent in Pimaphera (Cassino and Swett, 1927). Glena cribriataria and cognataria are also similar and lack foveae but possess a double row of black points on the abdomen.
Adult Structural Features: Antennae of the males are broadly pectinate from the base but have a simple apex. Hind tibiae have just a single pair of spurs and the fore tibiae possess a hair pencil (Cassino and Swett, 1927). Cassino and Swett (1927) describe the reproductive structures of Pimaphera percata, but those of P. sparsaria apparently have not been described.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Known in North Carolina only from Bald Head Island
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Our few records come from late summer
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from an extensive stand of maritime forest that contains one of only two populations of Tough Bumelia in the state
Larval Host Plants: Possibly stenophagous on species of Bumelia (Sideroxylon spp.) (BugGuide, 2017; D. Wagner, pers. comm. to JB Sullivan) - View
Observation Methods: All of our specimens were collected using blacklight traps. We have too few records, however, to estimate how well it comes to lights
See also Habitat Account for Live Oak Forests and Maritime Scrub Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR] SH
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have too few records to be completely certain about the status of this species in North Carolina. However, with the recently discovered association between Pimaphera and species of Bumelia, it seems no coincidence that this species has been found in one of the few places in the state where that plant species occurs. If a residential population does, in fact, exist at that site, then it is likely that sparsaria is narrow specialist on a highly restricted and declining habitat type. Along with maritime forests more generally, the stand at the one known site for this species is vulnerable to the effects of barrier island development as well as the naturally occurring -- and possibly increasing -- threat of hurricanes. If further studies confirm the residential status of this species, along with its restricted distribution and extreme host plant and habitat associations, then it clearly should be listed as Significantly Rare in North Carolina and given a high priority for conservation.

 Photo Gallery for Pimaphera sparsaria - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: JBS on 1994-09-02
Brunswick Co.