Moths of North Carolina
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Datana Members:
123 NC Records

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


Taxonomy
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.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical 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 yellowish shade between the costal margin and cubitus vein that markedly contrasts with the lower 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 and is often a darker yellow in major (Miller et al., 2018). Forbes also notes that the lower 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 dentate or tuberculate; in ministra, they are smooth but irregular (Forbes, 1948; Miller et al., 2018). 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
Distribution:
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
Immature Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from a wide range of hardwood forests as well as woodlands and open habitats that have populations of heaths, including pocosins, Longleaf Pine savannas, flatwoods, and sand ridges.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed primarily on heaths, particularly Blueberries (Wagner, 2005). Records from Witch Hazel also appear to be accurate but records on other species may represent misidentified ministra; last instar larvae also wander and may show up on host plants not used earlier on (Miller et al., 2018).
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Dry Heath Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S4S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
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 Photo Gallery for Datana drexelii - Drexel's Datana Moth

32 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: David George on 2022-09-12
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2022-09-12
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Lior Carlson, Brian Bockhahn on 2022-08-09
Rockingham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Lior Carlson, Brian Bockhahn on 2022-08-09
Rockingham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-06-18
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-06-18
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-10
Richmond Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-07-29
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-07-26
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2021-07-16
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-06-26
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-06-19
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-06-19
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-05-30
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-05-30
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-10
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2020-08-01
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-09
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2019-07-20
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche on 2017-06-03
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2016-07-30
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-08-11
Cherokee Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2015-07-31
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, S. Hall on 2015-07-22
Stanly Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2015-07-18
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-06-20
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche on 2013-06-10
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2013-06-06
Bladen Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-05-24
Warren Co.
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