Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 1 NC Records

Grammia doris (Boisduval, 1869) - Doris Tiger Moth


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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930241.00 MONA Number: 8198.00
Comments: One of 36 species in this genus that occur in North America (Schmidt, 2009), nine of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Included along with G. arge in subgenus Mimarctia, characterized by their completely pale costal cells as well as other features (Schmidt, 2009).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960); Schmidt (2009)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1960); Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A pale, pinkish-cream colored Tiger Moth, with the black markings on the forewings reduced to narrow streaks and wedges. Based on the differences between doris and arge described by Schmidt (2009; see Species Account for arge), we are now not certain that any definite specimens of doris have been found in North Carolina.
Forewing Length: Mean forewing length = 21 mm (Schmidt, 2009)
Adult Structural Features: Male valves are elongate and crescentic, compared to the typically broader valves found in arge (Schmidt, 2009).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are grayish purple to charcoal with prominent mid-dorsal and sub-dorsal white stripes (Forbes, 1960; Wagner, 2005). Setae are generally softer than in other Grammia. Larvae of G. arge are similar but the pale stripes are wider and the sub-dorsal lines more continuous rather than broken into separate spots, as is the case in G. doris (Forbes, 1960).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Forbes (1960); Wagner (2005)
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)

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Flight Comments: Too few records exist from North Carolina to determine a pattern. Schmidt (2009) states that the range of collection dates for adults indicates that there may be more than one generation per year.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Too few records exist from North Carolina to determine habitat associations. This also appears to be true over the entire range of this species. Schmidt (2009) states that the rarity of this species is puzzling for such a widely distributed species, but may be due to undersampling of its preferred habitat, although there is no clear indication as to what that habitat may be.
Larval Host Plants: Members of this genus are highly polyphagous, feeding on a wide range of herbaceous plants, with Dicots possibly preferred (Schmidt, 2009).
Observation Methods: Although this species is believed to be nocturnal, it is unclear how well it comes to light. The mouthparts are non-functional (Singer, 2000, cited in Schmidt, 2009), so it does not come to bait.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 S1S3->[SH]
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: There is general agreement that this species is rare across its entire range (Schmidt, 2009), and a great deal still needs to be learned about the distribution, abundance, and habitat preferences before its conservation needs can be generally assessed. In North Carolina in particular, we are still uncertain as to whether this species has an extant population anywhere within the state. Schmidt examined two specimens from Southern Pines, both quite old (Schmidt, pers. comm. to J.B. Sullivan, 2019). These records may possibly the same as given in Brimley (1938), possibly collected by Manee who was an active collector in that area in the first decades of the Twentieth Century. However, we know of no modern specimens from the state.