Moths of North Carolina
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Dysstroma Members:
23 NC Records

Dysstroma citrata (Linnaeus, 1761) - Dark Marbled Carpet Moth

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Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: LarentiinaeTribe: HydriomeniniP3 Number: 910015.00 MONA Number: 7182.00
Comments: A large genus found worldwide (Europe, China, India, Japan, Argentina), usually found at high altitudes. Three species reach North Carolina.
Species Status: Samples from North Carolina have been studied and appear to be conspecific with most samples from the Eastern US. Out West, there may be additional sibling species.
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Unlikely to be confused with D. hersiliata which has the notch in the forewing band and is much smaller. Most confusion exists between this species and D. truncata. Overall, the maculation is much lighter in citrata than truncata. The subapical band lacks the distinct indentation toward the thorax, the hindwing is fairly uniformly fuscus, not two-toned as in D. truncata and not with a pearly white outer section; according to Forbes 1948), the postmedian on the hindwing is also retracted at the cell in truncata, but is straighter in citrata. Sexes are similar.
Wingspan: 28 mm (Forbes, 1948)
Adult Structural Features: Genitalia are very similar to those of D. truncata. In the male the valve shape is more compact, rounded and in the female the anterior section of the bursa is more compact, less drawn out as in D. truncata. According to Forbes (1948), the first the second segment of the palpus is much longer than the first, wheres the first two segments are subequal in truncata.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are similar to those of D. truncata but have a more greenish anal plate (Wagner et al., 200). Apparently the egg overwinters in citrata but the larvae in truncata (Wagner et al., 2001).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Confined to higher areas in our 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)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: There may simply be one extended brood but the flight period is quite long.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Most of our records come from elevations above 4,000 ft, but with a few from elevations between 3,000 ft and 4,000 ft. All of these sites support stands of mesic forests, including Northern Hardwoods at most sites and Spruce-fir Forest at some. This species is often but not always found where D. truncata has not been recorded.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae are reported by Forbes (1948) to be general feeders on low plants. We suspect the foodplant requirements are more specific than that and more information needs to be obtained from observations made in the wild to determine what species they rely on in North Carolina. - View
Observation Methods: Adults come readily to lights, we have no evidence they respond to bait.
See also Habitat Account for General High Elevation Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S2S3]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Populations of this species are limited to the highest elevations in our mountains, where they are likely to be vulnerable to the effects of global climate change. More information is needed on their host plant use in North Carolina and on their exact habitat requirements before an accurate assement can be made of their conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Dysstroma citrata - Dark Marbled Carpet Moth

Photos: 3

Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Becky Elkin, Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2019-07-30
Yancey Co.
Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2015-09-01
Yancey Co.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf on 2014-08-26
Yancey Co.