Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNotodontidae Members:
Datana Members:
138 NC Records

Datana drexelii Hy. Edwards, 1884 - Drexel's Datana Moth

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NotodontidaeSubfamily: PhalerinaeP3 Number: 930035.00 MONA Number: 7904.00
Comments: One of 16 species in this genus, all but one of which occurs in North America north of Mexico (Miller et al., 2018). Nine have been recorded in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Miller et al. (2018)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner (2005); Miller et al. (2018)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A reddish- to yellowish-brown Datana with a crenulate outer margin and usually with two conspicuous dark spots. In this species and Datana major, the forewings have a paler shade between the costal margin and cubitus vein that markedly contrasts with the posterior portion of the wing; in ministra and angusii, both of which also have crenulate outer margins, this contrast is absent or not as marked (Forbes, 1948; Miller et al., 2018). In drexelii, the costal area tends to be a lighter, golden-yellow (often reddish in our specimens) but is often a darker yellow in major (Miller et al., 2018). Forbes also notes that the posterior portion of the forewing is dusted with whitish or luteous in drexelii but is a darker wood-brown in major. Miller et al., however, state that wing color and pattern are usually insufficient to separate these two species and recommend relying on dissection or DNA analysis instead.
Wingspan: 45-60 mm (Forbes, 1948)
Forewing Length: 20.5-23.5 mm, males; 24.5-25.0 mm, females (Miller et al., 2018)
Adult Structural Features: Valves of the males have two subequal, transverse flanges (only one typically exists in ministra and angusii). In drexelii, the flanges are strongly dentate or tuberculate; in major, they are smoother or merely irregular (Forbes, 1948; Miller et al., 2018). According to Miller et al., the uncus is strongly incurved immediately above the basal shoulders in major but is more gradually tapering in drexelii.

See Forbes and Miller et al. for additional details and illustrations. Miller et al., also describe distinctive features of the female structures.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are black with unbroken yellow stripes; the collar is also yellow and the head is dark. The lateral stripes are fused into a single patch on the last two segments (Forbes, 1948; Miller et al., 2018).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
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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