Moths of North Carolina
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291 NC Records

Apantesis vittata (Fabricius, 1787) - Banded Tiger Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930279.00 MONA Number: 8170.00
Comments: One of four species in this genus that occur in North America, all of which are found in North Carolina
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: (Larval descriptions appear to be lacking)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Species of Apantesis and Grammia resemble one another, but Apantesis are generally smaller and the the pattern of yellow lines is usually much more reduced, with the median, lower portion of the post-median, and fine vein lines always missing in Apantesis; a good quality photograph showing the forewing pattern is usually enough to distinguish between these genera. However, the hindwings must also be visible to distinguish between the species of Apantesis, and even then only the males can usually be diagnosed; photographs must show the hindwings to be acceptable as records for this genus.

Male vittata are usually recognizable by having red hindwings with a broad, confluent band of black in the sub-terminal area. In carlotta and phalerata, the color of the male hindwings is usually pale yellow or orange, or cream-color with a reddish wash, and the black area in the sub-terminal is virtually always broken into discrete spots. Male nais that have a bright yellow hindwing with large subterminal spots are easy to distinguish from vittata. However, nais also has forms that have reddish or reddish yellow hindwings, some with broadly confluent subterminal black bands; while noticeably larger in some cases, these forms can be difficult to identify, as can specimens of vittata that have some yellow shading in their hindwings and have their sub-terminal bands more broken into separate spots. Unfortunately, dissection does not provide a more definitive identification: the features of the valves and aedeagus in vittata, nais, and carlotta are all similar, or show similar patterns of variation. Females of vittata are similar to those of phalerata and nais, having a highly reduced set of pale lines on the forewings and broad, confluent black bands along the outer and inner margins of the hindwing. All three of these species can also have red or pink in the medial and basal areas of the hindwing and it is probably better to rely on males -- which are more often captured in any case -- for identifications.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are black and covered with brown to black bristles; a pale dorsal line is often present (Forbes, 1960). According to Forbes, the larvae of phalerata and vittata are indistinguishable, making rearing necessary to determine their identities.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably occurs statewide
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: Possibly has three peaks in activity but is present essentially throughout the growing season in the Coastal Plain
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The vast majority of our records come from Longleaf Pine savannas, flatwoods, and sandhills. Other records come from dry upland forests but only a few from floodplain forests and just one from barrier island dune grasslands; none of our records are from pure peatland habitats (i.e., located well away from Longleaf Pine communities).
Larval Host Plants: Probably polyphagous, feeding on a wide range of herbaceous and woody plants
Observation Methods: Comes moderately well to blacklights, with up to 34 collected in a single trap; no records come from bait
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: Although apparently less generalized than A. phalerata, this species occupies a wide range of habitats and is broadly distributed across the entire state. Appears to be quite secure.

 Photo Gallery for Apantesis vittata - Banded Tiger Moth

34 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-24
Clay Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-08-24
Clay Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-04-25
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-04-25
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-03-30
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-03-30
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-11
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-16
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-16
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-22
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-05
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-10-15
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-04-13
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-12
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-09-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: R. Evans on 2018-11-07
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Amanda Auxier on 2017-06-11
Pender Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2014-07-07
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-07-05
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: R. Salisbury on 2010-10-29
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-10-28
Warren Co.
Comment: Confirmed via specimen by Bo Sullivan
Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2010-06-03
Beaufort Co.
Comment: Partially spread wings
Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2010-06-03
Beaufort Co.
Comment: Dorsal
Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2010-06-03
Beaufort Co.
Comment: Ventral, taken through a window
Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2010-06-03
Beaufort Co.
Comment: Front view, taken on a window
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-05-04
Warren Co.
Comment: Confirmed via specimen by Bo Sullivan
Recorded by: Chris Helms on 2008-09-03
Columbus Co.
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Recorded by: ASH/B.Beck on 2007-08-12
Moore Co.
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