Moths of North Carolina
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8 NC Records

Cycnia collaris (Fitch, 1857) - No Common Name

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930402.00 MONA Number: 8229.00
Comments: This is one of three species in this genus that occur in North America, all of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Cycnia inopinatus is a previously described species that has been recorded from North Carolina, but was synonymized with C. collaris based on comparison of genitalic structures and DNA barcode variation (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2015; Pohl and Nanz, 2023). These two forms are very similar, except that inopinatus has solid gray legs (see above) versus bicolored legs in C. collaris (sensu stricto). In North Carolina the gray-legged form of C. collaris is found in the Coastal Plain, while the banded-legged form occurs in the western Piedmont and Blue Ridge. ,
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1960)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1960); Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: This species is similar in appearance to the other Cycnia species in having pale wings that often have a yellow streak along the costal edge of the forewing, yellow on the head and collar, and a yellow or orange abdomen with a dorsal row of black spots. The forewing is pale gray with whiter veins. The head and basal portion of the forewing costa are yellow, and the abdomen is ocherish-yellow with a row of mid-dorsal black spots. Cycnia tenera is similar but has an orange costal streak that extends beyond the middle of the wing.
Wingspan: 25-40 mm (Bess, 2005).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: The larvae are distinctively orange with separated tufts of short, dark hair located on the dorsal surface of the abdomen and longer tufts located at the head (Forbes, 1960; Wagner, 2005).
Distribution in North Carolina
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: Wagner (2005) states that there are two generations in New Jersey; our records are too few to detect any pattern.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our few records from the Coastal Plain are all from open grasslands associated with Longleaf Pine, as well as wet savannas, sandhill seeps, or depression meadows, with drier sandhills habitats usually located in adjoining areas. Our two records from the Piedmont and Blue Ridge are from farmland and a site with open woods.
Larval Host Plants: This species is stenophagous and feeds primarily or exclusively on milkweeds (Forbes, 1960; Wagner, 2005; Bess, 2005). The known hosts include Clasping Milkweed (A. amplexicaulis), Tall Green Milkweed (Asclepius hirtella), Pinewoods Milkweed (A. humistrata), Butterfly Milkweed (A. tuberosa), Whorled Milkweed (A. verticillata), Green Milkweed (A. viridiflora) and Green Milkweed (A. viridis). Forbes (1960) also mentions records from Sea Ivy (Cissus trifoliata) which is only known from a single site in the state in Wilson County. We have a feeding record for North Carolina for Pinewoods Milkweed. - View
Observation Methods: All of our records are from UV light traps, but the larvae openly forage on milkweeds and should be easy to spot.
See also Habitat Account for Open Apocynaceous Forblands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 S2S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Cycnia collaris - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: SPH on 2001-06-19
Harnett Co.
Comment: Male; wingspan = 3.0 cm; forewing length = 1.4 cm