Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 51 NC Records

Lophocampa caryae Harris, 1841 - Hickory Tussock Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930370.00 MONA Number: 8211.00
Comments: One of eleven species in this genus that occurs in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010), only two of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1960); Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Similar in size and wing shape to Halysidota sp., Leucanopsis longa, and Lophocampa maculata. Differs from all of them in having a much more constrasting pattern of translucent white or cream spots running in rows against a darker brown background and in possessing one or two streaks of dark brown that run obliquely across the forewings from the costa to the inner margin. Larvae are also quite distinctive, being primarily pure white with a row of mid-dorsal black tufts, rows of lateral black spots, and two pairs of longer black pencils near the anterior and posterior ends of the abdomen.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae of some Apatelodes torrefacta are also covered by dense white hair with a mid-dorsal row of black tufts but lack the paired black pencils found in caryae.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably is restricted to the Mountains (sight records from the Coastal Plain need to be confirmed)
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: Appears to have one main flight in spring and early summer
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records all come from hardwood forests, including riparian areas (e.g., New River State Park) and high ridges and summits.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous, feeding on many species of trees and shrubs although preferring members of the Juglandaceae: Hickories, Pecan, and walnut (Wagner, 2005)
Observation Methods: Appears to come moderately well to blacklights, usually in small numbers but with up to 20 being recorded on one occasion
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: Restricted to the Mountains but is associated with fairly common hardwood habitats. May be affected by global climate change but seems likely to persist within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Lophocampa caryae - Hickory Tussock Moth

Photos: 21

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2022-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-30
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-05-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-26
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2018-10-06
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-27
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-06-15
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, K. Kittelberger on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, K. Kittelberger on 2015-06-18
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall, Bo Sullivan, and Ashley Sullivan on 2014-09-26
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2014-09-26
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof, S. Becker on 2014-09-04
Watauga Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf, B Bockhahn, K Kittelberger on 2014-06-08
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2014-05-28
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: J. Nelson on 2013-10-04
Ashe Co.
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