Moths of North Carolina
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11 NC Records

Scopula aemulata (Hulst, 1896) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: SterrhinaeTribe: ScopuliniP3 Number: 910559.00 MONA Number: 7151.00
Comments: One of 26 species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Pohl et al., 2016), seven of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Covell (1970)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Covell (1970)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Wave. The ground color is tan with scattered dark brown specks. The antemedian and median lines are diffuse and reddish-brown to buff (Covell, 1970). The antemedian is at least sometimes incomplete and represented by a couple of dark points and the postmedian is composed entirely of separate dark dots. The discal dots are also dark as is a series of terminal dots and a dorsal line of spots on the abdomen. Unlike S. cacuminaria, the hindwing has a rounded margin and the forewings lack the prominent dark spots in the subterminal area. The tan ground color and dotted postmedian distinguish this species from our other members of this genus.
Forewing Length: 6 - 8.5 mm, males; 7.3 - 8.7, females (Covell, 1970)
Adult Structural Features: The hind tibiae of the males are uncompressed, are about equal in length to the tarsi, and bear a single pair of spurs. Male and female reproductive structures are described and illustrated by Covell (1970) and appear to be distinctive.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Covell (1970) states that the larvae are similar to those of S. lautaria, which he describes in detail and provides one illustration
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: All of our records come from the tidewater region
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: Our records come primarily from the summer and fall
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Most of our records come from maritime forests, including one site where it appeared to be resident. Records from the Wilmington area come from stands of hardwoods or longleaf pine but are based on single specimens whose residency status is unclear.
Larval Host Plants: Covell (1970) reports rearing larvae of this species on Clover and Dandelion but there are no observations of the larvae in the wild and the natural host plants of this species still need to be determined. - View
Observation Methods: Comes to lights, both incandescent and blacklights, but we do not have enough records to estimate how well; we have no records from bait
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR SU->[S2S3]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have only a few records for this species but with enough to suggest that it is a resident along the coast and is possibly associated with maritime forests. If that picture holds up, then it may be of significant conservation concern, given the ongoing conversion of maritime habitats and the threat to barrier islands due to sea level rise. However, much more needs to be learned about this species, particularly about the range of host plants and habitat it uses. Without that information an accurate assessment cannot be made of its conservation status within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Scopula aemulata - No common name

Photos: 8

Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn on 2023-03-27
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2021-10-28
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2020-05-23
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2013-12-04
Dare Co.
Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2013-12-03
Dare Co.
Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2013-11-03
Dare Co.
Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2013-09-25
Dare Co.
Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2013-09-05
Dare Co.