Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNolidae Members: 1 NC Records

Afrida ydatodes Dyar, 1913 - Dyar's Lichen Moth


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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NolidaeSubfamily: AfridinaeP3 Number: 931158.00 MONA Number: 8102.00
Comments: One of three species (one provisional) in this essentially Neotropical genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Lafontaine and Poole, 2010), and the only one recorded in North Carolina
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Dyar (1913)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A small, chunky, greenish and brownish banded Punkie. The ground color is pale greenish-white, crossed by a brownish or grayish median band. The inner line of the median band is relatively straight from the costa to the cubital vein, then becomes more irregular (Dyar, 1913). The dorsal half of the basal area is also shaded with gray or brown. Hindwings are whitish but may be shaded with gray or greenish.
Wingspan: 10 mm (Dyar, 1913)
Adult Structural Features: Antennae of the males are pectinate
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are lichen mimics, mottled with gray, brown, and black (illustrated in Wagner et al., 2011). The body is widest towards the anterior and tapers towards the rear. Dorsal setae are glandular and bear droplets. Wagner et al. also describe the cocoon of this species as extremely cryptic, incorporating pieces of lichens, mosses, and chewed algae and bark into its covering.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The sole North Carolina record comes the southeastern corner of the Outer 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: We have too few records to detect any temporal pattern
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Wagner et al. (2011) describe the habitats used by this species as mesic woodlands and tropical hardwood hammocks. Our one record, however, comes from xeric, coastal fringe sandhills, although mesic maritime forest and maritime swamp forests are located in some of the surrounding areas. Xeric sandhills often support a high diversity and abundance of lichens, so its presence in such habitats may not just represent a stray from wetter habitats.
Larval Host Plants: Lichens and tree algae (Wagner et al., 2011)
Observation Methods: Our one specimen was collected using a blacklight trap, but we do not have enough records to know how well lights or bait work to attract adults of this species. Wagner et al. report capturing at least one larva by beating.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S1S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: The early collection date for our one specimen suggests that it had overwintered in that area rather than straying up from the south. However, much more information needs to be obtained about its actual distribution, abundance, and habitat associations in North Carolina before we can accurately assess its conservation status.