Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 19 NC Records

Spargania magnoliata Guenée, [1858] - Double-banded Carpet Moth

Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: LarentiinaeTribe: HydriomeniniP3 Number: 910155.00 MONA Number: 7312.00
Comments: This is a very large genus in the Neotropics with likely well over 100 species. In North America, five have been recorded and only one occurs in North Carolina.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina barcode with those from the Eastern part of the country. Out West S. magnoliata forms a complex with several additional species.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Adults have green forewings that perfectly match the mossy habitats found at high elevations; pinned specimens, however, rapidly lose the greenish tinge. Sexes are similar. Adults are not likely to be confused with any other species in our area.
Adult Structural Features: Genitalic structures are diagnostic, separating Spargania from all other similar species.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The caterpillar is green with pinkish lateral areas matching the petioles of its foodplants (Wagner et al, 2001).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Restricted to the Mountain in North Carolina
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 are two broods, May and July with a few stragglers in intervening months.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Open areas in mountain hardwood habitat where the foodplants, Oenothera and Epilobium grow. Rarely found below 3000’.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, recorded from Evening Primrose (Oenothera) and Fireweed (Epilobium) (Wagner et al., 2001)
Observation Methods: Adults come readily to lights but not to bait nor are they active during the day.
See also Habitat Account for Montane Forblands and Successional Fields
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S3S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species depends on open, herbaceous habitats in the Mountains, at least some of which may be naturally maintained by fire. Increased frequency of wildfires in the Mountains resulting from global climate change may help expand its habitats. However, as a species adapted to cool, montane habitats, increased warming may also lead to its elimination from some areas, particularly at lower elevations.

 Photo Gallery for Spargania magnoliata - Double-banded Carpet Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: JBS on 2000-06-01
Ashe Co.