Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFErebidae Members:
Spilosoma Members:
78 NC Records

Spilosoma dubia (Walker, 1855) - Dubious Tiger Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930310.00 MONA Number: 8136.00
Comments: One of eight species in this genus that occur north of Mexico and one of four species found in North Carolina
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1960); Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This is the most heavily spotted of our species of Spilosoma, with black spotting on both the fore- and hindwings. It can be distinguished from S. congrua, which can have similar spotting on the forewings (but only rare spotting on the hindwings), by a pattern of orange patches and black spots on the dorsal side of the abdomen, which is pure white in congrua. The pattern of yellow and black on the abdomen is shared with S. virginica and Estigmene acrea, but is more obscured in dubia by an overlay of longer white hair. Dubia is much more heavily spotted than virginica, which usually has only a couple of small dots on the forewings (as well as on the hindwings). Estigmene is much larger and has proportionately longer wings than the Spilosomas and has smoother, shorter hair on the thorax, which is usually fluffy-looking in Spilosoma.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are similar to those of other Spilosomas ("Yellow Bears"), but have yellow dorsal and sub-dorsal stripes, with reddish-brown hair and black warts and spiracles (Forbes, 1960; Wagner, 2005).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Appears to be restricted to the Coastal Plain, including the Outer Coastal Plain and barrier islands as well as the Fall-line Sandhills
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 a single spring flight in North Carolina
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The majority of our records come from Longleaf Pine habitats, primarily savannas and flatwoods but with a significant number from dry-to-xeric sandhills. It also makes at least some use of pure peatlands and maritime forests.
Larval Host Plants: Probably polyphagous, feeding on many species of herbaceous and woody plants (Wagner, 2005); Forbes (1960) stated that one did well on Plantain (Plantago sp.). The habitat restrictions -- in North Carolina at least -- suggest there may be some association with heaths or hollies, which are among the few plants that are found in Longleaf Pine communities, peatlands, and maritime forests. - View
Observation Methods: Comes well to blacklights, with up to 39 having been collected in a single trap; not recorded at bait
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Coastal Plain Wet Acidic Shrublands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [S3S4]
State Protection: Currently placed on the NHP Watch List as W3: seemingly rare species that are too poorly known to assess their conservation status in North Carolina. Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be somewhat specialized in terms of its habitat use, with most of its habitats having undergone severe reduction due to habitat conversion and fire suppression. Probably vulnerable to the effects of habitat fragmentation but still found over a large area of the Coastal Plain, at least in large tracts of natural habitat.

 Photo Gallery for Spilosoma dubia - Dubious Tiger Moth

Photos: 17

Recorded by: R. Newman on 2024-04-07
Carteret Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: R. Newman on 2024-04-07
Carteret Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka, Chuck Smith on 2024-03-14
Bladen Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka, Chuck Smith on 2024-03-14
Bladen Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: John Petranka, Chuck Smith on 2024-03-13
Bladen Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2021-04-08
New Hanover Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2021-04-08
New Hanover Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2021-03-25
Brunswick Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-28
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: j.wyche on 2017-03-26
Gates Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-05-01
Warren Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-05-01
Warren Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-05-01
Warren Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-05-01
Warren Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-04-17
Warren Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2011-04-08
Camden Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2008-04-12
Brunswick Co.
Comment: Identity verified by examination of the abdomen