Moths of North Carolina
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6 NC Records

Nemoria rubrifrontaria (Packard, 1873) - Red-fronted Emerald

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: GeometrinaeTribe: NemoriiniP3 Number: 910628.00 MONA Number: 7047.00
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 rubrifrontaria in his Bistriaria Species Group (VIII), which also includes bifilata, bistriaria, and mimosaria in North Carolina, as well as eight others in the West.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Ferguson (1969, 1985)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Ferguson (1985); Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, dark green Emerald; no reddish-brown spring form is known. The abdomen has a series of white spots surrounded by red, similar to N. lixaria and bistriaria. Rubrifrontaria lacks the red terminal line found in those species and has a pinkish to white fringe that is only weakly checkered, if at all.
Forewing Length: 12-13.5 mm, males; 12-14 mm, females (Ferguson, 1985)
Adult Structural Features: The fore-tibiae are solid reddish, without the white transverse band found in N. lixaria and bistriaria. Male and female genitalia are distinctive (see Ferguson, 1985, for details and illustrations).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are coarsely pilose and possess prominent wing-like, dorso-lateral projections similar to several other members of this genus. Wagner (2005) recommends that larvae be reared to adulthood in order to identify them to species.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Apart from one historic record from the Fall-lne Sandhills, all of our records come from the Mountains
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: We have no definite dates for this species, but Wagner et al. (2001) report that it hs two generations per year over most of its range.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Habitats used in North Carolina are unrecorded. Elsewhere, Wagner et al. (2001) describe its habitats as consisting of sandy barrens, bogs, woodlands, and coastal strands. Forbes (1948) stated that it was "definitely an acid soil species."
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on Gale (Myrica gale) and Sweetfern (Comptona peregrina) in the North (Forbes, 1948; Ferguson, 1985; Wagner et al., 2001). It has also been reported on other species in the Myricaceae, New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus), and Sheepkill (Kalmia angustifolia). Ferguson (1985) also reared it on Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina).
Observation Methods: Not recorded in North Carolina.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [SR]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SH
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is only known from historic records in North Carolina. Based on its reported host plants and habitat associations, it is likely to be specialist on just a narrow range of habitats in North Carolina and probably of significant conservation concern.