Moths of North Carolina
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195 NC Records

Lambdina fervidaria (Hübner, [1831]) - Curve-lined Looper


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: OurapteryginiP3 Number: 911333.00 MONA Number: 6894.00
Comments: One of nine members of this genus that occur in North America, four of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Two subspecies have been described, L. fervidaria fervidaria, which is primarily southern, and L. fervidaria athasaria, which has sometimes been considered a separate species (e.g., Forbes, 1948; Wagner et al., 2001; Maier et al., 2011). NatureServe currently recognizes athasaria as a full species.
Species Status: There are several lines of evidence that indicate that Lambdina fervidaria and pellucidaria may be conspecific. Sperling et al. (1999) found virtually no difference in the mitochondrial DNA between the two species and Duff et al. (2001) found no differences between their mating pheromones, flight seasons, and diel activity patterns, all of which might serve as important isolating mechanisms. Although host plant and habitat differences have also been claimed to separate the two, Wagner et al. (2001) and Wagner (2005) concluded that much work still needs to be done to demonstrate that the larvae can actually be segregated based according to species based on host plants. In the eastern Piedmont of North Carolina, we collect both species in the same samples from typical stands of hardwoods with pines either mixed in or where pure stands are located in close proximity. Some of the individuals in these samples appear to share characteristics of both species, i.e., dark brownish gray ground color but yellow edged lines (as described for subspecies athasaria). On the other hand, pellucidaria appears to be essentially single-brooded in North Carolina and has a range that covers the Coastal Plain; fervidaria, in contrast, flies during most of the growing season and appears to be rare in the Coastal Plain. We agree with Wagner et al. (2001) that a revision of this genus is badly needed.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner et al. (2001); Wagner (2005); Maier et al. (2013)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, yellowish-brown Geometrid. The ground color is a pale cream, overlain by a conspicuous, coarse dusting of somewhat darker gray; in the form found from southern New Jersey to North Carolina (probably true fervidaria according to Forbes), the dark dusting on the wings can be dominant, with only flecks of the cream color showing through (Forbes, 1948). Both the antemedian and postmedian are darker brown but edged with yellow or cream on the sides away from the median area; in the darker southern form (fervidaria according to Forbes, 1948), the yellow edging to the lines is more contrasting. The veins may also be edged with cream and the head, antennae, and fore coxae are yellow. Lambinda pellucidaria is similar but has a darker, smoother, and more translucent gray-brown ground color, lacking both the conspicuous dusting and yellow edging to the lines. Lambdina canitiaria is also similar but has a gray rather than yellow head (Forbes, 1948). Lambdina fiscellaria, as well Besma endropiaria and pale females of B. quercivoraia, are other similarly colored species but have more angular wings. L. fiscellaria additionally has a strongly angled postmedian -- smoothly curved or relatively straight in fervidaria and the two Besma species -- and Besma usually have at least a partial submedian line that is lacking in Lambdina species (Forbes, 1948).
Adult Structural Features: Antennae are pectinate in the males, simple in the females. Male pectinations may be as long as 2 mm.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are variable in pattern and coloration but usually marked with a combination of gray, black, and white pinstripes and broader lines (see Wagner, 2005). Larvae of L. f. fervidaria, L. f. athasaria, and L. pellucidaria may not be separable and need to be reared to adulthood in order to determine the species or subspecies (if even that is possible).
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Recorded primarily in the Mountains and Piedmont in North Carolina, with only one sight record from the northern Coastal Plain.
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: There may be two distinct flight period in the Piedmont but only one extended flight period in the Mountains, albeit with several peaks in activity.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Records from the Piedmont come primarily from dry upland stands of hardwoods or mixed forests. Records from the Mountains come from both dry ridgetop hardwoods and mesic stands of riparian or cove forests at relatively low elevations and from stands of Northern Red Oak forests and other hardwoods at high elevations.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous. Subspecies athasaria feeds on Hemlock, Spruce, and Fir (Maier et al., 2013). Subspecies fervidaria is believed to feed primarily on hardwoods, including Oaks, American Hornbeam, Hop-hornbeam, Witch Hazel and probably many other species (Wagner, 2005).
Observation Methods: The majority of our records come from 15 watt UV traps, with a few also observed at building lights. As in other members of this genus, fervidaria probably does not come to bait or visit flowers.
Wikipedia
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: Occurring across most of the state and common to abundant in a wide range of habitats, this species appears to be secure in North Carolina. The taxonomic status of fervidaria as distinct from athasaria, pellucidaria, or canitiaria still needs to be determined, however, which may affect the status of these species, depending on their individual host plant and habitat associations.

 Photo Gallery for Lambdina fervidaria - Curve-lined Looper

48 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-30
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-01
Montgomery Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-03-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-08-01
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-07-17
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-05-22
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Lior Carlson on 2020-07-25
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-07-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-06
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2019-07-20
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-04
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2019-06-26
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-25
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2018-08-08
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2018-07-18
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2018-07-07
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-04-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-08-01
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-06-15
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-08-14
Cherokee Co.
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