Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNotodontidae Members:
Schizura Members:
7 NC Records

Schizura apicalis (Grote & Robinson, 1866) - Plain Schizura Moth


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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NotodontidaeSubfamily: HeterocampinaeP3 Number: 930102.00 MONA Number: 8009.00
Comments: One of eight described species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010; at least one other undescribed species also exists); six (plus the undescribed species) have been recorded in North Carolina.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Schweitzer et al. (2011)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-small Prominent, variably mottled with white, gray, or brown on the forewings, with the hindwings white in males except for a dark apical patch; the hindwings of the females are blackish. A thin black basal dash is present, and the crescent-shaped black reniform on the forewing is also narrow and not surrounded by a pale patch or followed by black shades or streaks, as it is in other species of Schizura. The antemedian and postmedian lines are conspicuous in some specimens, obscure in others, and are waved between the veins; where visible, the postmedian is usually cleancut, double, and filled with white (Forbes, 1948).
Wingspan: 26-32 mm (Schweitzer et al, 2011)
Adult Structural Features: The eighth sternite in the males has a central process that is divided into two long points; the valves are minute but complex (Forbes, 1948).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are green with red on the thorax, on the rear of the abdomen, on the sides, and on the tubercles (Forbes, 1948). The larvae of S. badia are similar but have yellow mottling on the dorsal surface of the abdomen (Wagner, 2005).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Our records are concentrated in the southern half of the Coastal Plain, but this species potentially occurs more widely in the state
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)

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Flight Comments: Our records extend from May to late August, with no clear evidence for separate flights.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All but one of our records come from Longleaf Pine habitats in the Coastal Plain. Species of Morella are usually present in those habitats, at least along ecotones with pocosins and other peatlands. Willows are also present at several of the sites, associated with depressional wetlands or old beaver ponds.
Larval Host Plants: Possibly polyphagous, with Bayberry, Wax Myrtle, Blueberry, Willow, and Poplar all recorded as host plants (Wagner, 2005). Poplar is not present at any of the sites where this species has been recorded in North Carolina, but either Morella carolinensis, M. pumila, or Vaccinium spp. is present at all of these sites and Willow occurs in at least some of these locations.
Observation Methods: Comes to blacklights, but always in just ones or twos within a given sample.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G3G4 S1S2
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species has long been regarded as rare (e.g., Forbes, 1948) and has undergone a noticeable decline in the Northeat (Schweitzer et al., 2011). The reasons for this scarcity, however, are unclear. More information is needed on its exact host plant and habitat requirements before an assessment of its conservation needs can be made.