Moths of North Carolina
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75 NC Records

Caripeta aretaria (Walker, 1860) - Southern Pine Looper



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: OurapteryginiP3 Number: 911303.00 MONA Number: 6869.00
Comments: A moderately sized New World genus with 15 species described from northern Mexico, Canada and the U.S. We have verified 3 species within the state; two more are reported from websites but we have not seen authenticated specimens.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have been barcoded and are identical to specimens from elsewhere as well as specimens of C. piniata from New Brunswick, Ontario and Massachusetts!
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Geometrid with strongly marked yellow-brown and white forewings. Similar in size and pattern to other members of this genus but the hindwings are fuscous, with a distinct postmedian line, rather than pale whitish and unmarked, as in the angustiorata, with which it shares a reddish tint on the forewings (Forbes, 1948).
Wingspan: 40 mm (Forbes, 1948)
Adult Structural Features: The furcula (process of the juxta) is thicker and more robust than in the other two Caripeta species. Furthermore, the uncus is shorter and thicker as well. The female genitalia are characterized by the elongated signum.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae appear to be undescribed but are probably similar to those of the other members of this genus.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably occurs over most of the Coastal Plain but is less common in the western part of the state.
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 Caripeta, this one certainly has two well-separated broods (spring and fall) in the Coastal Plain and likely throughout the state.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Most of our records come from wet-to-mesic habitats in the Coastal Plain, including Pond Pine Woodlands and other peatlands; wet pine savannas; and bottomland forests. Almost none, conversely, come from dry-to-xeric sandhills habitats. In the western Piedmont and Mountains, however, records come entirely from upland habitats, including several xeric ridges.
Larval Host Plants: Probably feeds on pines, but the larvae do not appear to have been found in the wild. From the habitats used in the Coastal Plain, Pond Pine appears to be the most likely host plant, and is the only species of pine occurring in some of the large expanses of peatlands where the moth has been recorded. Some use of Loblolly may also be made, since the moth has been recorded in some bottomland stands where that species is the only pine present. In the Mountains and in the monadnocks found in Stokes County, Pitch Pine may be used. This species is closely related to Pond Pine but occupies much drier, ridgetop habitats in North Carolina. Other pines might also be used, but the general absence of records from the Piedmont suggests that Loblolly, Shortleaf, and Virginia Pine -- the predominant species in that region -- are not favored host plants.
Observation Methods: Adults are never common but seem to respond well to light trapping. Response to baits unknown but unlikely.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Pine Forests and Woodlands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 S3S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: The species appears to be fairly specialized in its habitats and host plants, occurring almost exclusively in natural pine-containing habitats rather than managed stands. Conversion of peatlands, wet savannas, and other natural pine habitats to silvicultural stands consequently probably constitutes a significant threat to this species in the Coastal Plain. While the xeric ridgetops it occupies in the western part of the state are less heavily exploited, the moth appears to be much less common in those areas. More needs to be learned about its specific host plants and habitat associations before an accurate assessment can be made of its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Caripeta aretaria - Southern Pine Looper

Photos: 22

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-09-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Laura Hamon on 2021-04-13
Pender Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-04-02
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-02-17
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2020-02-07
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-08-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall and Ed Corey on 2016-10-01
Bladen Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2015-09-07
Burke Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Ed Corey on 2015-05-17
Wilkes Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger on 2014-09-17
Rockingham Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf on 2014-08-26
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2013-08-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2013-05-18
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: ASH on 2012-08-27
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: J. Wyche on 2012-03-26
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2010-09-12
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-07-22
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2009-04-25
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: E. Corey and C. Dykstra on 2006-09-16
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: FKW, SBW on 2005-09-13
Gates Co.
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