Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 13 NC Records

Cabera quadrifasciaria (Packard, 1873) - Four-lined Cabera Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: CaberiniP3 Number: 911101.00 MONA Number: 6680.00
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 Pender County have been barcoded and match those from Maryland and elsewhere. Barcoding indicates this species is simply a divergent member of the genus and it does not seem to associate with any other genus. However, the divergent pattern, flight period, foodplant and genitalia argue instead that it might better be placed in its own new genus.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Rindge (1956)Technical Description, Immature Stages: J. Sogaard (BugGuide, 2017)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, cream colored Geometrid that is easily identified by the four dark gray, crosslines that run straight across the forewing. Sexes are similar. Scopula ordinata looks somewhat similar, but has more pointed forewings and lines that are all bent inward below the costa (ordinata also very rare in the range of C. quadrifasciaria occurring in rich wooded habitat not open pine and savanna habitat).
Wingspan: 26 mm (Forbes, 1948)
Forewing Length: 14-16 mm, males; 13-15 mm, females (Rindge, 1956)
Adult Structural Features: The genitalia are quite different from our other species of Cabera, particularly the aedeagus and female genitalia
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Caterpillars photographed on leadplant by Jim Sogaard (BugGuide (201) may be the only observation of the immature stages of this species. As in C. erythemaria and variolaria, the larvae are green with pale subdorsal lines and a series of darker spots located on the dorsal surface of the abdomen. Wagner et al. (2001) report that C. variolaria and C. erythemaria overwinter as pupae, which seems likely for this species as well.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The species has been found in the coastal counties north to Pender
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: Unlike our other species of Cabera, this one appears to be single brooded, beginning to fly in mid to late April and continuing into early May.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come almost exclusively from Longleaf Pine-dominated flatwoods and coastal fringe sandhills, with a single record coming from maritime forest on a barrier island.
Larval Host Plants: According to Jim Sogaard the species has been reared on Leadplant (Amorpha canescens) although BugGuide lists Tall Indigo-Bush (Amorpha fruticosa) as the host plant, with canescens only suspected. In any case, canescens does not occur in North Carolina and fruticosa is fairly widespread, although not particularly associated with Longleaf habitats. The association of this moth with flatwoods habitats, however, suggests that it may be more closely associated in North Carolina with one of the savanna species of Amorpha, including Savanna Indigo-Bush (Amorpha confusa), Georgia Indigo-Bush (A. georgiana), or Dwarf Indigo-Bush (A. herbacea).
Observation Methods: Adults have all been taken at light traps but can probably be flushed during the flight period. They would not be expected at bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Loamy, Fire-maintained Herblands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S3S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have fewer than fifteen records for this species in North Carolina and from just from six sites. It also appears to be a flatwoods specialist, possibly feeding similarly restricted species of Amorpha. However, if it also feeds on Amorpha fruticosa, which appears to be one of its principal host plants in the Mid-west, then it may occur much more widely. Its apparent rarity in that case might be due to the fact that there has been little collecting during the short flight period of this species in areas where Amorpha fruticosa is present. More information is thus needed concerning the range of host plants and habitats used by this species in North Carolina. If it is truly associated with the savanna species of Amorpha rather than the more widespread Amorpha fruticosa, it should be considered to be Significantly Rare in this state.