Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 109 NC Records

Lytrosis unitaria (Herrich-Schäffer, 1854) - Common Lytrosis Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: AngeroniniP3 Number: 911145.00 MONA Number: 6720.00
Species Status: Barcodes indicate a single species throughout its range.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA                                                                                 
Adult Markings: One of three very similar species which have been confused frequently, but which can be distinguished by following the course of the postmedian line on the forewing. In unitaria, the postmedian runs generally straight; although it may have a series of small waves, it lacks the deeper undulations found in sinuosa and heitzmanorum. In the hindwing of unitaria, the median band is black, broadened and similar to that found in L. heitzmanorum but absent in L. sinuosa. Females are similar but larger than males.
Adult Structural Features: As with the related genus Euchlaena, the genitalia rarely have clearcut differences. The genitalic features given in the review of the genus (Rindge, 1971) do not work well.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larva is described in Wagner et al. (2001). From eggs laid in June, larvae develop until September when they go into diapause probably on small oak branches. They awake in the spring and continue to feed probably pupating in the leaf litter.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This is the most far ranging species of Lytrosis in North Carolina. We need records for the middle part of the state but presumably the species is common everywhere at low and moderate altitudes. Upper altitude limits unknown but it probably ranges up to 3500'.
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: It may fly slightly earlier than both L. sinuosa and L. heitzmanorum.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This common species is found throughout the state in oak-hickory forests.
Larval Host Plants: Oligophagous, feeding on hawthorn, rose, serviceberry and other roseaceous plants but feed in captivity on maple and oak as well (Wagner et al., 2001). While captive larvae will accept a variety of plants, the preferences of wild larvae is largely unknown. Wild collected larvae which should be easy to rear to maturity if collected in the spring (mid April to mid May).
Observation Methods: The species can be abundant in light traps for a short period, usually late May in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. There are no records from bait in North Carolina but Schweitzer et al. (2011) report that worn females will come to bait presumably to refuel for more egg laying.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Rosaceous Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This is the most common, most far ranging species of Lytrosis in North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Lytrosis unitaria - Common Lytrosis Moth

Photos: 24

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-06-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-05-25
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2019-06-01
Stokes Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-06-01
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2018-06-02
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-09-10
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2015-07-27
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-05-28
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: T. Nergart on 2014-06-30
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2013-06-21
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2013-06-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2012-06-09
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2012-06-09
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2011-06-02
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2011-05-15
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2011-05-15
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2011-05-15
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2010-05-22
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: B. Anderson on 2010-05-21
Wake Co.
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