Moths of North Carolina
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Crambidia Members:
71 NC Records

Crambidia pura Barnes & McDunnough, 1913 - Pure Lichen Moth

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: LithosiiniP3 Number: 930226.00 MONA Number: 8052.00
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)Technical Description, Immature Stages: (None)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Pure white above, including the frons and top of the head, and smaller than the Crambidia casta, with a wingspan less than 30 mm. Covell (1984) states that pura is also pure white below, unlike casta, which has gray on both the undersurface of its wings as well as on its legs and abdomen. However, our Coastal Plain species is both small and grayish beneath (Forbes, 1960, stated that both species were identical in color). Unless information on size is included, it may be difficult to tell pura and casta apart based on photographs alone. Good photographs should, however, be sufficient to distinguish pura from members of the cephalica complex, which have yellow shading on their frons and top of their heads. Specimens provide more reliable means of identification and worn or otherwise difficult-to-identify males can be identified by dissection.
Wingspan: 22-25 mm (Forbes, 1960)
Adult Structural Features: Illustrations of male reproductive structures are given in Forbes (1960)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: Descriptions of the larvae are apparently unavailable.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Appears to be restricted to the southern portion of the Coastal Plain, including the Fall-line Sandhills
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
Flight Comments: Appears to be multivoltine, with three distinct flights
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All of our records come from Longleaf Pine habitats (or adjoining areas in a a very few cases), including Wet Pine Savannas, Coastal Fringe Sandhills, and Pine--Scrub Oak Sandhills.
Larval Host Plants: Like most Lithosiines, probably feeds on lichens, bark algae, and Cyanobacteria (Covell, 1984; Wagner, 2005). - View
Observation Methods: Comes moderately well to blacklights, with up to 9 having been collected in a single trap; none have been recorded at bait
See also Habitat Account for General Longleaf Woodlands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [S3]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands; should be placed on the NHP Watchlist
Comments: Appears to be a specialist of Longleaf Pine communities, probably associated with lichens or algae growing on Longleaf Pines. As such, they are vulnerable to the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation, with much of their original habitat lost over the past several centuries and more currently being lost due to the continued effects of habitat conversion and due to suppression of naturally occurring fires.

 Photo Gallery for Crambidia pura - Pure Lichen Moth

Photos: 3

Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-10
Scotland Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-10
Scotland Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 1991-10-10
Pender Co.
Comment: Male; wingspan = 2.2 cm; forewing length = 1.2 cm