Moths of North Carolina
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92 NC Records

Cleora projecta (Walker, 1860) - Projecta Gray Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: BoarmiiniP3 Number: 911014.00 MONA Number: 6595.00
Comments: This genus occurs over much of the world (Rindge, 1972). There are two species in North America and both occur in North Carolina
Species Status: Publicly available barcode analysis (BOLD:AAD7495 and BOLD:AAF4550) indicate that North Carolina specimens of projecta are quite distinct from those of sublunaria but that at least some populations elsewhere may be less easily distinguished
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948, as C. manitoba); Rindge (1972)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Moderately long-winged and similar in pattern and coloration to other Geometrids loosely termed the Grays. Usually easy to distinguish by its strong, black, and double-lined antemedian and by a white basal ring or bar on the abdomen followed by black patch. In Anavitrinella and a few of the Iridopsis that have contrasting rings at the base of the abdomen, the black bar is basal to the pale ring and none have a doubled antemedian line. While both species in the genus look quite similar, the the color of the frons can be used to distinguish them (see key in Rindge, 1972). in projecta, the scales are bicolored with brown at the base and white at the tip; this produces a generally gray or brown appearance. The frons is divided by a crossband of darker color but this is usually narrow or obscured in projecta (note that there is also a dark inter-antennnal bar located more dorsally). In sublunaria, the scales on the frons are usually pure white (or pale buff). A much more conspicuous black band crosses the frons and the white scales on the lower hallf are often longer than in projecta and form an irregular fringe. While these characters are diagnostic when there is a good view of the frons, they often are difficult to make out in a dorsal view of the specimen. In some, but not all, cases, grayish bicolored scales are found on the vertex and occiput of the head and on the pale band at the base of the abdomen. In sublunaria, these scales are often pure white, as they are on the frons (S. Hall, pers. obs). In general, the wings are more shaded with gray in projecta and more contrastingly mottled in sublunaria.
Forewing Length: 15-18 mm, males; 14-17 mm, females (Rindge, 1972)
Adult Structural Features: We include a picture of the antennal pectinations which are termed bipectinate with two unequal sized branches from each antennal segment along the basal 2/3ds of the shaft. This will distinguish the genus from other geometrids. In the male genitalia the shape of the projections along the edge of the valves and the shape of the cornuti in the vesicas will distinguish the species. In the females the size of the signum (larger in C. projecta) distinguishes the species. Additionally, Rindge (1972) noted that the eyes of projecta are narrower than those of sublunaria and that the antennae of male projecta have longer pectinations.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: The larvae have a number of color forms but all have characteristic black spots flanked with white along the midline. At present we do not know how to separate the larvae of the two species of Cleora.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Most of our records come from the southern half of the Coastal Plain, with just a few from farther north. Not reported from other parts of the state.
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)

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