Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFGeometridae Members:
Lambdina Members:
24 NC Records

Lambdina canitiaria Rupert, 1944 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: OurapteryginiP3 Number: 911332.00 MONA Number: 6893.00
Comments: One of nine members of this genus that occur in North America, four of which have been recorded in North Carolina.
Species Status: This species is treated as a synonym of L. fervidaria by NatureServe. Schweitzer considers it to be simply a spring form, although that concept does not apply to the spring populations of fervidaria that occur across most of North Carolina, which have a yellow rather than a gray head.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Rupert (1944); Forbes (1948)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: As described by Rupert (1944), canitiaria is similar to athasaria but smaller and with no yellow on the head and much less on the thorax and abdomen.
Adult Structural Features: The pectinations of the male antennae are shorter than in other species of Lambdina, only about 1 mm long compared to 1.75 - 2 mm in athasaria (Rupert, 1944). Rupert also states that canitiaria can be distinguished from athasaria based on male genitalia, "having (1) finer and shorter spinules on the furca, and fewer of them along the basal third; (2) the terminal part of the furca wider and more rounded; and (3) the auger-like process at the end of the aedeagus less prominent". The wing expanse varies from 1-1.25 inches, averaging a little smaller than athasaria (Rupert, 1944).
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Appears to be restricted to the Mountains and to the high monadnocks of the Sauratown Range in the western Piedmont.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: In New York, canitiaria is the earliest species of Lambdina to fly in the spring, appearing about three weeks before L. athasaria (Rupert, 1944). That does not appear to be the case in North Carolina, at least compared to L. fervidaria and pellucidaria, which fly as early as March. Only one flight period appears to exist in North Carolina populations.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All of our records come from mesic, montane forests, mostly riparian or cove forests at relatively low elevations but with one record from spruce-fir forest near the summit of Grandfather Mountain.
Larval Host Plants: Apparently not recorded. Habitats where this species has been recorded in North Carolina contain mixtures of northern hardwoods and Hemlocks, with Spruce and Fraser Fir also present at Grandfather Mountain. - View
Observation Methods: All of our few records were obtained using 15 watt blacklight traps. Like other members of this genus, it probably does not come to bait or to flowers.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNA SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands. Not currently listed by the Natural Heritage Program
Comments: If canitiaria is a valid species, then it appears to be fairly rare in North Carolina; it also appears to be poorly known throughout much of its global range. If it is found that canitiaria is primarily or exclusively a Hemlock-feeder, then there is a significant threat posed to its populations due to the decimation of Hemlock stands by the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. We recommend that it be added to the Natural Heritage Watch List until more has been documented concerning its taxonomis status, distribution, abundance, and host plant relationships in North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Lambdina canitiaria - No common name

Photos: 6

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-04-15
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Emily Stanley on 2024-03-08
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-27
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-03-29
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-03-29
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-03-27
Madison Co.