Moths of North Carolina
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20 NC Records

Cabera variolaria Guenée, [1858] - Vestal Moth

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Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: CaberiniP3 Number: 911099.00 MONA Number: 6678.00
Comments: The genus Cabera as currently conceived is found in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some 30 species are known of which 5 occur in the United States and 3 are found in North Carolina.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina are similar to those from elsewhere in its range and no significant heterogeneity has been observed. Both well marked and unmarked individuals have been barcoded.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Rindge (1956); McGuffin (1981)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, white Geometrid usually marked with three grayish lines. Keys for specimens of Cabera from North America are given in Forbes (1948) and McGuffin (1981). For the most part, however, they do not work for our individuals of C. erythemaria and C. variolaria, both of which can be marked with well defined crosslines or be almost entirely white. For males the color of the pectens is the best external character: white in C. erythemaria and black in C. variolaria (with the occasional white scale). Easily confused with other small white geometrids such as Lomographa vestialata (smaller, pearly white, no pectinations), Gueneria similaria (orangish wash), Scopula ordinata (larger, pointed forewings), and perhaps worn specimens of Speranza pustularia (crosslines reddish and widening at costa).
Wingspan: 25 mm (Forbes, 1948)
Forewing Length: 12-16, males; 11-16 mm, females (Rindge, 1956)
Adult Structural Features: Antennae are pectinate in the males, simple in the females. The pectinate antennae helps distinguish males of this species from those of Lomograpa, Gueneria, and Scopula, all of which have simple antennae. The absence of the basal valve projection distinguish males from other species in this genus. The basal valve projection in the male is diagnostic as is the flared ostial opening in the female.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are green and pink with squarish heads and a series of paired, mid-dorsal spots (see Wagner et al, for an illustration and more detailed description). Caterpillars of C. erythemaria and C. variolaria may be indistinguishable and should be reared to adulthood in order to determine their identity (Wagner et al., 2001).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: May be restricted to Salix sericea in the mountains between 2,000' and 4200'. Piedmont records lacking to date but one record exists for the Fall-line Sandhills, which needs to be checked.
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: The species is on the wing throughout most of the warm months (May-September) and probably has 2-3 broods each year.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Associated with poplar (Populus) and (Salix) elsewhere but in North Carolina so far found only with Salix and the open, streamside habitats where willow is common. It has been recorded flying with C. erythemaria in Swain County.
Larval Host Plants: Both Populus and Salix species are used further north (Wagner et al., 2001). We have no larval records but in North Carolina adults have been collected only in the vicinity of willows. - View
Observation Methods: Adults readily come to light and can be flushed near willows during the day. It is unlikely they respond to baits.
See also Habitat Account for Shoreline Shrublands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S3S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We still have records from only scattered sites, mostly concentrated in the southern half of the mountains. However, its habitats and host plants are widespread in this region and it is observed regularly at some sites. It appears to be secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Cabera variolaria - Vestal Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: Doug Blatny / Jackie Nelson on 2013-08-18
Ashe Co.