Moths of North Carolina
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6 NC Records

Nemoria tuscarora Ferguson, 1969 - Tuscarora Emerald


No image for this species.
Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: GeometrinaeTribe: NemoriiniP3 Number: 910610.00 MONA Number: 7030.00
Comments: One of 35 species in this genus that occur in North America (Ferguson, 1985), nine of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Ferguson (1969) included tuscarora within the Extramaria Species Group (Group IV), which in North Carolina also includes elfa and outina.
Species Status: The type locality for this species is Highlands, North Carolina (Ferguson, 1969, 1985).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Ferguson (1969, 1985)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Gruber (2016)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Emerald. Both pairs of wings are bright green with white antemedian and postmedian lines. Distinctive features include a lack of a terminal line and discal dots on the wings and white spots on the abdomen; the fringe is pure white and the front is faded rusty red (Ferguson, 1969, 1985). Nemoria mimosaria is similar in both size, color, and pattern but has a single white spot on the abdomen (genitalic features are also quiet different; see below).
Forewing Length: 11-13 mm (Ferguson, 1985)
Adult Structural Features: Both male and female genitalia are similar to other members of the Extremaria Species Group (Ferguson, 1985), which are all smaller than tuscarora. Mimosara has very different male genitalia (see Ferguson, 1985, for detailed descriptions and illustrations). Female tuscarora also have biserrate antennae, rather than the simple antennae found in mimosaria (Ferguson, 1985).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: The early stages were unknown to Ferguson (1985) but eggs, larvae, and pupae have been recently found and photographed at a site in Maryland by Gruber (2016). At least some larvae appear to be more green than is typical for Nemoria species.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Appears to be restricted to the Mountains in North Carolina but has been found at lower elevations further to the north (Ferguson, 1969, 1985; Gruber, 2016)
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)

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Flight Comments: Flies in both the spring and summer in North Carolina, but we do not have enough records to determine if there are two distinct flights
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Records from North Carolina come from mesic, montane forests where bogs or other wetland habitats occur at least in the vicinity
Larval Host Plants: Larvae of this species have recently been observed on Hypericum densiflorum by Gruber (2016). In the mountains, this plant is usually associated with bogs and other wetlands; it also occurs in the Coastal Plain where the moth has not yet been observed.
Observation Methods: The most recent records were obtained using blacklight traps, but we do not have enough data to determine how well it is attracted.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GU S1S3
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We still have very few records for this species, although more records are being made in states to the north. It may turn out to be a specialist on mountain wetland habitats but much still needs to be learned about the host plants and specific habitats used in North Carolina.