Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFGeometridae Members:
Dysstroma Members:
35 NC Records

Dysstroma truncata (Hufnagel, 1767) - Marbled Carpet Moth

view caption
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: LarentiinaeTribe: HydriomeniniP3 Number: 910021.00 MONA Number: 7187.00
Comments: A large genus found worldwide (Europe, China, India, Japan, Argentina) usually 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 and in Canada, there may be additional sibling species. This species ranges across Europe and into China.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Most confusion exists between this species and D. citrata. Overall the maculation is much darker than in D. citrata and the subapical band has a distinct, but small indentation toward the base of the wing. The hindwing is two-toned with the outer part pearly white (uniformly fuscus in D. citrata); according to Forbes 1948), the postmedian on the hindwing is retracted at the cell. It is a much larger species than D. hersiliata, which also has a distinctive inward tooth on the postmedian of the forewing. There are two forms, one in which the median area of the wing is filled with white. Perches with wings open or closed. Sexes are similar.
Wingspan: 28 mm (Forbes, 1948)
Adult Structural Features: Genitalia are very similar to those of D. citrata. The valves are more elongated and parallel sided versus the shorter more rounded ones in D. citrata. Differences from D. hersiliata are given under that species. According to Forbes (1948), the first two segments of the palpus are subequal, whereas in citrata, the second segment is much longer than the first.
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 greenish and with distinctive, long paraprocts - shared only by D. citrata (Wagner et. al., 2001). The anal plate is more greenish in this species than in citrata. It also overwinters as a larva not in the egg stage as is true of D. citrata.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Like the other species in the genus, it is found at higher altitudes on most mountains. Curiously it is much more restricted than D. hirsiliata which appears to be restricted to habitats containing Ribes.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 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: All of our records come from forested areas in the High Mountains, above 4,000 ft in elevation. Although many come from areas where stands of Spruce-fir Forests still persist, others come from areas lacking that habitat type and where only Northern Hardwoods or other stands of high elevation hardwood-dominated forests are present.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous, feeding on both forbs and woody shrubs (Forbes, 1948; Wagner et al., 2001). - View
Observation Methods: Adults come readily to lights and would not be expected to be attracted to bait.
See also Habitat Account for General High Elevation Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S3]
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 truncata - Marbled Carpet Moth

Photos: 4

Recorded by: Richard Teper on 2022-06-24
Avery Co.
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: Kyle Kittelberger, Paul Scharf, Brian Bockhahn on 2015-06-17
Avery Co.