Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members:
Eulithis Members:
9 NC Records

Eulithis molliculata (Walker, 1862) - Dimorphic Eulithis Moth

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Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: LarentiinaeTribe: HydriomeniniP3 Number: 910039.00 MONA Number: 7203.00
Comments: One of fourteen species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Pohl et al., 2016), five of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: McGuffin (1971)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, dimorphically colored moth with broad, falcate wings. Males are reddish- to chocolate-brown but females are ochre to yellow. The wings are crossed by a number of narrow, outwardly curving and somewhat waved lines; lines in the antemedian, median, and subterminal areas are bordered with white frosting and there is a darker patch of the ground color located just below the apex of the forewing along the outer margin. Hindwings are somewhat paler but possess similar fine lines as found on the forewing.
Wingspan: 35 mm (Forbes, 1948)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: All larval instars are described by McGuffin (1971). Late instars are light yellow-green to brown with fine grayish lines; the mid-dorsal line is broken rather than continuous. Association with the host plant helps to separate larvae of this species from other members of Eulithus; McGuffin also provides detailed information on setal differences.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Our records all come from the Mountains
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)

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Flight Comments: Our records come from June and July
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have records from two sites that have populations of Ninebark, one from wetlands along the New River in an area where Amphibolite -- a mafic rock formation -- is common, the other from upland glades in the southern foothills of the Blue Ridge, again in an area with mafic rock formations.
Larval Host Plants: McGuffin (1971, 1977) and Wheeler and Hoebeke (1985) reported that the larvae feed on Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) - View
Observation Methods: Comes to light, but to what extent is unclear, at least in North Carolina
See also Habitat Account for Ninebark Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S2S3]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Considered rare by Forbes (1948)and appears to be a strong habitat specialist, associated with a larval host plant that itself is fairly restricted in its occurrence to a narrow range of habitat types However, the moth has been found at two widely separated locations and its host plant occurs over an even wider area, extending across the Piedmont. Given a record from Arkansas along the Mississippi River (McGuffin, 1977), it is not out of the question that this species could occur at low elevation sites in the Piedmont in association with its host plant.