Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 108 NC Records

Iridopsis pergracilis (Hulst, 1900) - Cypress Looper


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: BoarmiiniP3 Number: 910998.00 MONA Number: 6580.00
Comments: One of 20 species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico, seven of which have been recorded in North Carolina. In Rindge's 1966 revision of this group, 18 were placed in Anacamptodes, which he recognized as possibly representing the same genus as Iridopsis, and two in Iridopsis itself.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Leckie and Beadle (2018)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Rindge (1966)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2002)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, dimorphically-colored Gray. The ground color of the wings is pale gray to nearly white. The antemedian and postmedian lines are black and shaded with either reddish-brown or blackish brown. The postmedian is moderately waved, but not deeply biconcave as in some other members of this genus. Forewings have only a weakly developed discal spot and median line, if any, but the discal spot is well-developed on the hindwings (Rindge, 1966). The strongly-contrasting black-and-white form is distinctive but the reddish-brown shaded form is similar to I. defectaria; that species is usually larger, has a more deeply undulating -- biconcave -- postmedian, with a prominent bulge at both M2 and C2. Iridopsis humaria is similar in size but has a darker, more purplish ground color. Iridopsis ephyraria is also similar in size but usually has a more distinct median line and discal spot. Iridopsis cypressaria is smaller and the ground color of its wings are tan rather than gray or whitish; the postmedian line in that species is also much straighter below the bulge at the cell.
Forewing Length: 11-15 mm, males; 13-18 mm, females (Rindge, 1996)
Adult Structural Features: Both male and female reproductive structures are distinctive. Keys using these characters, along with detailed descriptions and illustrations are provided by Rindge (1966)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are brown to green and somewhat mottled or banded. The segments are somewhat narrowed anteriorally and there are thin, broken black or white lines in some individuals (see Wagner et al., 2002, for a detailed description and illustrations).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found throughout the Coastal Plain, including the Fall-line Sandhills; also occurs in cypress stands in the eastern 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: Adults are present throughout most of the year, from late January to early November. Pupae overwinter (Wagner et al., 2002).
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from both riverine and non-riverine swamp forests, tidal as well as non-tidal forests, and from lakeshores and old millponds. Two records from Hoke County come from streamhead swamp forests, where Pond Cypress is likely to be the species present. None of our records come from cypress savannas, however.
Larval Host Plants: Wagner et al. (2002) list Bald Cypress as the host and almost all of our records come from sites where distichum is the only species of cypress present. The two records from Hoke County, however, are more likely to be associated with Pond Cypress.
Observation Methods: Comes well to blacklights
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Cypress Swamps and Savannas
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4G5 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is a strong habitat specialist, but its habitats are still fairly widespread. Currently, it appears to be secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Iridopsis pergracilis - Cypress Looper

Photos: 11

Recorded by: Thomas C Reed on 2019-09-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Thomas C Reed on 2019-09-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Thomas C Reed on 2019-09-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Salman Abdulali on 2017-10-21
Pitt Co.
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Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2015-06-10
Washington Co.
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Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2013-09-07
Washington Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2012-05-26
Halifax Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2012-05-26
Halifax Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2012-05-26
Halifax Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche on 2011-04-01
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis, FKW on 2009-09-12
Camden Co.
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