Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members:
Apantesis Members:
1 NC Records

Apantesis virguncula (Kirby, 1837) - Little Virgin Tiger Moth

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930247.00 MONA Number: 8175.00 MONA Synonym: Grammia virguncula
Comments: The genus Apantesis is represented by 43 species in North America, including 13 species in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960); Schmidt (2009)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1960)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Easily recognizable from a good quality photograph. Fore-wings are black with narrow yellow lines along the veins; typically only a zig-zag subterminal band crosses the wing transversely, unlike other species of Apantesis that also have a post-median and median cross-lines (terminology following Schmidt, 2009). Hind-wings are yellow but extensively marked with black bars or spots both basally and distally rather than divided into distinct zones of black and yellow, as in A. anna and A. nais (Covell, 1984).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are black with black dorsal hair and reddish lateral hair (Forbes, 1960). Other Apantesis larvae may be similar, however (Wagner, 2005), and should be reared in order to determine their identity.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Presence in North Carolina is based on a record in Brimley (1938) from Blowing Rock.
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)

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Flight Comments: Unknown
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Habitat associations in North Carolina are unknown. Schmidt (2009) states that it "occurs in a variety of open wooded habitats, ranging from marshes, fens, and bogs to transition parkland and prairie."
Larval Host Plants: Members of this genus are highly polyphagous, feeding on a wide range of herbaceous plants, with dicots possibly preferred (Schmidt, 2009) - View
Observation Methods: Schmidt (2009) states that it comes to light. The mouthparts are non-functional (Singer, 2000, cited in Schmidt, 2009), so it does not come to bait.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [SH]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands. Currently not listed by the Natural Heritage Program as Significantly Rare or placed on the Watch List.
Comments: This species should at the very least be placed on the NHP Watch List. Given the likelihood that any populations would represent isolated, northern disjuncts (Schmidt, 2009, does not show any records south of Pennsylvania), it should be considered for NHP listing as Significantly Rare if rediscovered in the state.