Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 276 NC Records

Pagara simplex Walker, 1856 - Mouse-colored Lichen Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930396.00 MONA Number: 8099.00
Comments: The only member of this genus in North America (Pagara simplex on the MONA list was moved to Trocodima by Ferguson and Opler, 2006). Pagara had been included in the Lichen Moths in the MONA Checklist but was moved to the Callimorphini by Ferguson and Opler (2006) and to the Arctiini by Schmidt and Opler (2008).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1960)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Brownish gray, with translucent wings that have a yellow shade at the base; the abdomen is yellowish with a mid-dorsal row of dark gray spots (Forbes, 1960; Covell, 1984). Male antennae are strongly pectinate with yellow at the base; females have serrate antennae. Similar to Euchaetes egle, which is larger and colored a darker, more opaque gray without any yellow at the base of the wings or antennae; these two species should be separable based on a good photo.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are orange with white sub-dorsal stripes that are heavily black-edged below, and with at least some hair, including a long plume on the mesothorax (Forbes, 1960).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Concentrated in the southern Coastal Plain, including the Fall-line Sandhills, but occurring at least sparingly in the eastern Piedmont and northern 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: Appears to be present throughout the growing season but with three main peaks in activity
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The vast majority of our records come from Longleaf Pine communities, primarily wet-to-mesic savannas, and sandhill seeps. We also have records from a tract of peatland habitats in the northern Coastal Plain and from an old field habitat in the eastern Piedmont. All of these habitats are open and rich in forbs and graminoids.
Larval Host Plants: Probably polyphagous on forbs and possibly woody plants (reared in captivity on Dandelion in the Composite family -- Forbes, 1960)
Observation Methods: Comes well to blacklights and has only been seen at bait a few times; can also be flushed during the day from herbaceous savanna vegetation
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: In North Carolina, this species appears to be strongly specialized on Longleaf Pine communities, which have undergone a major reduction in range and acreage, with the remnants widely scattered and vulnerable to conversion to pine plantations. However, Pagara is one of the more common species in savanna habitats and is probably secure as long as large tracts are managed for biodiversity.

 Photo Gallery for Pagara simplex - Mouse-colored Lichen Moth

Photos: 10

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-09
Scotland Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-10
Richmond Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2020-09-10
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-14
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2017-03-20
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall and Ed Corey on 2016-10-02
Bladen Co.
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Recorded by: Robert Gilson on 2016-07-05
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-08-15
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: SPH, SH, CH on 2000-05-23
Moore Co.
Comment: Male; wingspan = 2.4 cm; forewing length = 1.7 cm
Recorded by: S. Hall on 2000-03-23
Moore Co.
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