Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members:
Epirrhoe Members:
26 NC Records

Epirrhoe alternata (Müller, 1764) - White-banded Toothed Carpet Moth

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Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: LarentiinaeTribe: XanthorhoiniP3 Number: 910238.00 MONA Number: 7394.00
Comments: A large genus occurring worldwide. We have a single species in North Carolina but it has an enormous range in North America and Eurasia.
Species Status: A single specimen from North Carolina has been barcoded and seems to match most of those from elsewhere in Eastern North America and Europe but there are several distinct groups or clusters that may represent unrecognized species. Additional specimens need to be studied from throughout its range.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This species is quite distinct with the broad postmedian white line on both the fore and hindwings. Occasionally confused with Euphyia unangulata, but that species lacks the hindwing white line.
Adult Structural Features: The genitalia of our species are distinct and will readily separate it from similar looking species in Xanthorhoe or Euphyia.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: According to Forbes (1948), larvae are "brown, mottled and variegated, with short dorsal lines at both ends, the first 5 abdominal segments with arrowhead-shaped dorsal dark markings, edged internally with white." Similar to Euphyia intermedia (see Forbes, 1948, for details).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The species is generally distributed throughout the mountains and into Georgia. Adults are taken in wooded habitats at intermediate altitudes, usually between 3000 and 4500’.
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: Probably at least double brooded throughout most of the Mountains
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All of our records come from mesic forests in the Mountains, primarily riparian and cove forests at low to mid-elevations, habitats where various species of Galium occur.
Larval Host Plants: In Europe, the moth feeds on Galium species and it is likely they do the same here. G. latifolium, a Central and Southern Appalachian endemic (Weakley, 2015), has a range that overlays the range of the moth in North Carolina and is a likely candidate. Other native species of Galium also occur in the habitats occupied by Epirrhoe, but there is no indication that it uses the widely introduced European species that are common in disturbed habitats. - View
Observation Methods: Many species in the genus are diurnal and have small eyes but our species has large eyes and is attracted to lights. It is not recorded from bait nor does it fly during the day.
See also Habitat Account for General Montane Mesic Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR S2S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: We have relatively few records for this species in North Carolina and more surveys need to be conducted to gather information on its distribution, abundance, and exact host plant and habitat associations before its conservation status can be determined.