Moths of North Carolina
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Cisthene Members:
210 NC Records

Cisthene subjecta Walker, 1854 - Subject Lichen Moth

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: LithosiiniP3 Number: 930188.00 MONA Number: 8071.00
Comments: One of twenty species in this genus that occur in North America, five of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Mentioned by Forbes (1960) but not described in detailTechnical Description, Immature Stages: (None)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Dark gray with a thin yellow line along the costa and another located above the inner margin; two pink to cherry red spots project downward from both of these lines in the postmedian area; unlike the similar but slightly larger Cisthene packardii, there is no patch of yellow located on the upper side of the line above the inner margin.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larval descriptions are apparently unavailable.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Almost all of our records come from the Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont; an old record from Wray (1967) comes from Brevard in the southern Mountains
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: Has three distinct flights: spring, summer, and fall
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Strongly associated with dry-to-xeric Coastal Plain habitats, particularly maritime forests and scrub and Coastal Fringe Sandhills; occurs farther inland also in association with sandridges in the Coastal Plain and dry upland habitats in the eastern Piedmont. Only a very few records come from wet-to-mesic habitats, including bottomland hardwoods.
Larval Host Plants: Like most Lithosiines, probably feeds on lichens, bark algae, and Cyanobacteria (Covell, 1984; Wagner, 2005) - View
Observation Methods: Comes well but usually in small numbers to blacklights; none of our records come from bait
See also Habitat Account for Xeric-Mesic, Sandy Woodlands and Scrub
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S3S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: A relatively uncommon species and a habitat specialist but still widely enough distributed over a fairly wide range of habitat types that it is reasonably secure in the state. Some of its favored habitats along the barrier islands and coastal fringe sandhills are likely to be lost due to sea level rise, however.

 Photo Gallery for Cisthene subjecta - Subject Lichen Moth

Photos: 8

Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2023-06-17
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2022-09-17
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-04-25
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2020-09-23
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-10-10
Onslow Co.
Recorded by: E. Corey, T. DeSantis on 2012-04-16
Onslow Co.
Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2008-09-30
Bladen Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 1995-09-28
Pender Co.
Comment: Male; typical pattern; wingspan = 1.4 cm; forewing length = 0.6 cm