Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members:
Tacparia Members:
4 NC Records

Tacparia detersata (Guenée, [1858]) - Pale Alder Moth

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Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: LithininiP3 Number: 911239.00 MONA Number: 6807.00
Comments: A wholly North American genus containing three species, two of these occur in North Carolina. The third species ranges south to New Jersey. The genus was studied by Rupert (1949) and Ferguson (1973).
Species Status: No North Carolina specimens have been yet submitted for bar-coding.
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Rupert (1949)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Rupert (1949); Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Sexes dimorphic, the females are darker in color than the males and have thinner antennal shafts. The species should not be confused with Gueneria, Cabera or Scopula, other whitish species which are considerably smaller and with differing patterns on white.
Forewing Length: males: 15-17 mm; female: 17 mm (Ferguson, 1973)
Adult Structural Features: Both male and female genitalia are distinct and should not be confused with any other known species.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Mature larvae are light brown, dark brown dorsal and subdorsal stripes, a pale lateral stripe and wavy, reticulated spiracular stripes (Rupert, 1949).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Recorded in North Carolina so far only from Avery, Alleghany, and Ashe Counties.
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: This species is single-brooded and on the wing in May-June.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Two of the collecting sites were located in riparian habitats along the New River. Another was from an upland area but with a stream located close by.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae recorded from Alder (Rupert, 1949; Wagner et al, 2001) which is consistent with known records in the mountains of North Carolina. - View
Observation Methods: Adults have been recorded from light traps. Wagner, 2001) indicates that adults may be disturbed from their resting spots by walking through alder thickets. We have no evidence that adults do or do not respond to bait.
See also Habitat Account for Montane Shoreline Shrub Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have very few records for this species but too little collecting in alder habitats has been carried out early in the season to be certain about its status.