Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members:
Manulea Members:
3 NC Records

Manulea bicolor (Grote, 1864) - Bicolored Moth

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: LithosiiniP3 Number: 930217.00 MONA Number: 8043.00 MONA Synonym: Eilema bicolor
Comments: The sole member of its genus in North America.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1960)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Narrow winged; dark gray with a yellow costal border and thorax. Females of Crambidia lithosiodes are similar in shape and color, but are smaller; the easiest way to distinguish them is by their antennae (see below)
Adult Structural Features: Eilema have simple antennae in both sexes; female Crambidia lithosioides have roughy serrate antennae
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are mottled brown and yellowish-brown (Forbes, 1960)
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Restricted in North Carolina to high elevation coniferous forests; our populations are highly disjunct from the majority of the range of this species, located primarily in southern Canada and northern New England
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)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Probably has a single summer flight
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Restricted to cool, moist, old growth conifer forests growing above 4,500' in the Southern Appalachians(specimens have been collected at lower elevations on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (DLIA, 2008).
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on tree lichens growing on Black Spruce, Fraser Fir, and probably other high elevation conifers (D. Ferguson, pers. comm.) - View
Observation Methods: Based on the very small number of specimens that have been collected, at least in North Carolina, adults may come poorly to lights; response to bait is unknown
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 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 appears to be highly specialized in North Carolina to cool, moist, high elevation conifer forests, which are themselves undergoing severe decline due to acidic preciptation, introduction of exotic pests, and global climate change. Unless this species is able to use lower elevation stands (suggested by Tenneessee records in the Great Smoky Mountains NP), this species appears to be at significant risk of extirpation from both the state and the Southern Appalachians more generally.

 Photo Gallery for Manulea bicolor - Bicolored Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: Kevin Segebarth on 2004-07-20
Swain Co.
Comment: BOLD specimen LGSM618-04; CreativeCommons - Attribution (2010); CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics.