Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members:
Crambidia Members:
339 NC Records

Crambidia lithosioides Dyar, 1898 - Dark Gray Lichen Moth

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: LithosiiniP3 Number: 930218.00 MONA Number: 8045.00
Comments: One of eleven named species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010, 2015), of which six been recorded in North Carolina (several others are still undescribed)
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Strongly sexually dimorphic. Males are small, pale grayish-brown moths that closely resemble the pale members of the Crambidia pallida complex; they are easily distinguished, however, by their pectinate antennae. Females have dark gray wings, bordered by yellow along the costal margin and with varying amounts on their thorax. They resemble Eilema bicolor in terms of coloration but are smaller and have very distinctive antennae (see below).
Adult Structural Features: Males have pectinate antennae, whereas all other species of Crambidian in our area have simple antennae. Females are also unique in their possession of roughly serrate antennae.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Descriptions of the larvae are apparently unavailable.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Most of our records come from the Coastal Plain and its occurrence in the Piedmont and Mountains needs to be better understood.
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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Flight Comments: Appears to be continuously present from spring to fall but with two peaks in abundance
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The vast majority of our many records for this species come from Longleaf Pine habitats, including savannas, flatwoods, and sandhills -- if this species feeds on tree lichens, then those growing on Longleaf Pine are likely suspects. Lithosiodes has also been recorded at a few non-Longleaf habitats, including sites in Pond Pine Woodlands, floodplain ridges in the lower Roanoke River floodplain, and at a few sites in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Pines would still be the common denominators, but would include Pond Pine and Loblolly in addition to Longleaf.
Larval Host Plants: Like most Lithosiines, probably feeds on lichens, bark algae, and Cyanobacteria (Covell, 1984; Wagner, 2005). - View
Observation Methods: Comes regularly and occasionally abundantly to blacklights but has rarely been recorded at bait
See also Habitat Account for General Pine Forests and Woodlands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: Although possibly a specialist on Longleaf Pine habitats, it also occurs to some extent in other habitat types and generally appears to be both widespread and secure in North Carolina

 Photo Gallery for Crambidia lithosioides - Dark Gray Lichen Moth

Photos: 7

Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2023-10-06
Onslow Co.
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-09-24
Onslow Co.
Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2014-05-28
Dare Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2010-09-17
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Newman,Randy on 2006-05-09
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: SPH on 1995-09-27
Onslow Co.
Comment: Female: serrate antennae, pale costal edge; wingspan = 2.0 cm; forewing length = 0.4 cm
Recorded by: SPH & DFS on 1991-10-10
Pender Co.
Comment: Male; wingspan = 2.0 cm; forewing lenth = 0.4 cm