Moths of North Carolina
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Crambidia Members:
1 NC Records

Crambidia cephalica (Grote & Robinson, 1870) - Yellow-headed Lichen Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: LithosiiniP3 Number: 930227.00 MONA Number: 8053.00
Comments: One of ten named species in this genus that occur in North America, of which six been recorded in North Carolina (several others are still undescribed).
Species Status: North Carolina specimens may not represent true cephalica but rather a still undescribed species (Forbes, 1960), which is the species that NatureServe refers to as Crambidia sp. 3. DNA bar-coding further indicates that our species may be more closely related to casta than to the western, and presumably true cephalica.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: (None)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: All white except for yellow shading on the head, which easily separates it from the two other white Crambidias, casta and pura, which have completely white heads.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Descriptions of the larvae are apparently unavailable.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Recorded in all three geographic regions of the state but without a clear distributional pattern. It does not appear to overlap, however, with pura in the southern portion of the Coastal Plain.
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: Too few records exist to detect a clear pattern.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records from the Piedmont come from mafic glades and from lakeshores. In the Mountains, records come from cove forests.
Larval Host Plants: Like most Lithosiines, probably feeds on lichens, bark algae, and Cyanobacteria (Covell, 1984; Wagner, 2005).
Observation Methods: Comes abundantly to blacklights but has not been recorded at bait
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: It is not clear if any of the populations we have in North Carolina represent true cephalica or if all represent the same undescribed species found in other areas (i.e., Crambidia sp. 3 nr. cephalica). Although it appears to be uncommon-to-rare within the state, no determination can be made of the conservation status of this complex until the taxonmic issues have been resolved and more is known about the distribution, abundance, and habitat associations of the exact species.