Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 72 NC Records

Euchaetes egle (Drury, 1773) - Milkweed Tussock Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ArctiinaeTribe: ArctiiniP3 Number: 930412.00 MONA Number: 8238.00
Comments: One of twelve species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010), and the only one that is found 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: Larger but similar in coloration to both Pygarctia abdominalis and Pagara simplex, with wings predominantly gray and abdomen yellow or orange with a mid-dorsal row of black dots. Apart from the abdomen, egle is completely gray, lacking the yellow or orange marks on the head found in both abdominalis and simplex and also lacking the similarly colored marks found on the thorax of abdominalis.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larvae are very distinctively marked tussock caterpillars, with orange tufts running down dorsally and subdorsally along the abdomen, flanked with black tufts laterally, and with longer black and white pencils located at both ends of the body. The larvae of Lophocampa maculata are similar in color but have yellow on the sides of the abdomen and a row of mid-dorsal black tufts running down the middle of the back; maculata also lacks the black pencils at the ends of the body.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Possibly occurs throughout the state but with many counties lacking records
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
Immature 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: Wagner (2005) states there are two flights over most of its range but our data are too few to make out a clear pattern
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Records from the Mountains and Piedmont come from both riparian and ridgetop habitats, including open sites and closed canopy forests. In the Coastal Plain, the few records we have come from bottomland forests but with either an herbaceous ground cover present or open habitats located close by.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding only on Milkweeds (Asclepius sp.) (Wagner, 2005)
Observation Methods: Appears to come fairly well to blacklights with up to 20 having been observed at a sheet on a given occasion. None of our records come from bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Apocynaceous Forblands
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: Uncommon but apparently widely distributed across the state and making use of a wide variety of habitats; appears to be secure

 Photo Gallery for Euchaetes egle - Milkweed Tussock Moth

Photos: 27

Recorded by: J. Thomson on 2020-07-30
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: J. Thomson on 2020-07-30
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2020-07-23
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Dowlan on 2018-07-14
Watauga Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Dowlan on 2018-07-14
Watauga Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-02
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2017-08-06
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2016-08-07
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Leigh Anne Carter on 2016-06-13
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jason Brown on 2015-09-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2015-07-30
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jason Brown on 2014-09-10
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: J. Anderson on 2013-09-20
Alleghany Co.
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Recorded by: J. Anderson on 2013-09-13
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2013-08-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: J. Mickey on 2013-07-30
Wilkes Co.
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Recorded by: M.Windsor on 2013-07-20
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: J. Anderson on 2012-08-28
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: SPH on 2012-06-18
Northampton Co.
Comment: Male; wingspan = 3.3 cm; forewing length = 1.5 cm
Recorded by: k. nealson on 2011-08-13
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2011-08-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny / Jackie Nelson on 2011-06-29
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-06-28
Warren Co.
Comment: Confirmed via specimen by Bo Sullivan
Recorded by: E. Corey on 2007-07-12
Alleghany Co.
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