Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 7 NC Records

Bleptina sangamonia Barnes & McDunnough, 1912 - No Common Name


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: HerminiinaeP3 Number: 930523.00 MONA Number: 8372.00
Comments: One of seven species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010); three have been recorded in North Carolina.
Species Status: According to barcode results, our species appears to be the same as the one that occurs in the Midwest, rather than an undescribed sibling sibling species as mentioned in Wagner et al. (2011).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Not in either field guideOnline Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Crumb (1956; as Bleptina medialis)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The three species of Bleptina in our area are all very similar: small grayish Deltoids with males that have a somewhat concave costal margin. Bleptina sangamonia and B. inferior are both gray with a sinuous, non-contrasting subterminal line. Bleptina caradrinalis is usually paler gray or brownish and has a pale, bent but otherwise even subterminal line. In sangamonia, the subterminal is fairly irregular and dentate, and filled with the same gray as the ground color; in some individuals it is too obscure to make out (Forbes, 1954; JBS, pers. obs.). The subterminal may also be obscure in B. inferior, but is often visible and filled with a brown shading; it is also less dentate than in sangamonia. Whereas B. caradrinalis is usually easy to recognize from photos, B. sangamonia and inferior are best identified through dissection of the males.
Adult Structural Features: Male Bleptina have simple antennae unlike those of many Herminiinae, which are usually pectinate or ciliate and often possess a knot with spines. Male valves are illustrated by Forbes (1954) and the shape of the terminal projections distinguishes all three of our species. In female sangamonia, there is just a single row of signa, whereas in inferior, there are two rows (JBS, pers. obs.).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: Larvae of sangamonia have a black head and body and are similar to those of caradrinalis, which have brown rather than black heads (Crumb, 1956). The body is covered with coarse granules and there is a pale lateral stripe above the dark spiracles (see Crumb, 1956, for additional details).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: We have a few records from all three geographic provinces in the state
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: Adults fly during the summer, but we have too few records to detect a definite flight pattern.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records all come from dry to xeric habitats, including Longleaf Pine sandhills in the Coastal Plain, rocky glades and dry woodlands in the Uwharries, and upland ridges in the Mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Undocumented but larvae probably feed on dead leaves.
Observation Methods: Appears to come fairly well to blacklights, with multiple individuals being collected at least at a few sites
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Dry-Xeric Glades and Barrens
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GU S1S2
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be quite rare in North Carolina, with numerous likely specimens having been dissected but almost always turning out to be B. inferior. The reasons for the apparent rarity of sangamonia are unknown, but it does seem to be a specialist on dry to xeric glades and woodlands. Except in areas like the Fall-line Sandhills, such habitats are usually very patchily distributed, and it may be loss of landscape connectivity as much as declines in the habitat quality at individual sites that explains the very sparse distribution of this species.

 Photo Gallery for Bleptina sangamonia - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-15
Madison Co.
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