Moths of North Carolina
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49 NC Records

Cladara limitaria (Walker, 1860) - Mottled Gray Carpet Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: LarentiinaeTribe: LobophoriniP3 Number: 910478.00 MONA Number: 7637.00
Comments: The genus currently includes four species found in North America, three of which occur in North Carolina.
Species Status: There is great confusion between this species and C. anguilineata and material submitted for barcoding indicates many misidentifications. As a result it is not clear whether this species is separable from C. anguilineata by barcodes.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This species can be distinguished from C. angulineata with practice but the characters of the vertex and frons are reversed in Covell's Field Guide but correct in Forbes. C. limitaria is rather uniformly brownish without a contrasting pattern. Most importantly, it is usually larger than C. angulineata and the wings are more pointed. There is a line between the eyes on the vertex but it is often partially obscured by the brown scaling. In females the brown scaling of the frons is extensive, in males less so resulting in a spectacled pattern. In the females of C. angulineata the frons is often similar to males of limitaria so it is important to note the sex and the pointedness of the forewing.
Adult Structural Features: Hind tibia of male with hair pencil. Wings angled, especially in the male. Rather uniformly brownish and slightly larger than C. angulineata. The aedeagi and valves are similar in C. limitaria and angulineata but the sclerotized anal edge on the valve is blunter in this species and the sclerotized projection onto the face of the valve is larger. In females the ostium is triangular and not incised (as it is in angulineata) and the ductus bursae is much longer than that of C. angulineata.
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 green with thin white lines around the segments and broader white lateral lines. A single brood with adults flying in early spring and larvae in the pupal stage by July or early August. Because of confusion with C. angulineata, assignment of larval forms to either species is a guess at present.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: No confirmed records in North Carolina outside the 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: A single brood with adults flying in early spring and larvae in the pupal stage by July or early August. The flight season is 3-4 weeks at a single location but by changing altitude it can be found for a longer period.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is found at higher altitudes in the mountains but usually associated with evergreens. It occurs with the other two species but usually at altitudes above 3000 feet.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous with records from fir, hemlock, larch, pines and spruce. However, because it is frequently confused with C. angulineata, host plant specificity is still unknown.
Observation Methods: The species comes readily to lights but not to baits.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Montane Cool Mesic Conifer Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: At most locations C. anguilineata is the most common species. However, at higher altitudes C. limitaria becomes increasingly common.

 Photo Gallery for Cladara limitaria - Mottled Gray Carpet Moth

Photos: 8

Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-02
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips on 2019-05-16
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-04-13
Madison Co.
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