Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 32 NC Records

Isogona tenuis (Grote, 1872) - Thin-lined Owlet Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: PhytometrinaeTribe: (incertae sedis)P3 Number: 930734.00 MONA Number: 8493.00
Comments: A New World genus of uncertain affinity. There are some 15 species found mostly in the tropics with six occurring in the US and Canada. Only one species reaches in North Carolina, the others are mostly found from Texas to Arizona.
Species Status: A North Carolina specimen has been barcoded and is like those from elsewhere; there is no evidence of hidden species.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Adults are triangular with a black collar when resting. The veins and lines of the forewing are a pale yellow that contrasts with the tannish ground color; the postmedian is sharply bent near the costa where it is intersected by a line running diagonally from the apex. Sexes are similar.
Adult Structural Features: Unique male features are the blunted valve, slightly bifurcated and with a sclerotized knob on the costal lobe; the vesica contains an amoeba-like cornutus complete with a “nucleus”and in females there are sclerotized areas on the base of the velum (the skirt-like structure over the ostium).
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The caterpillar is an elongated, purplish-brown twig mimic (see Wagner et al, 2011, for illustrations and a detailed description). They pupate on a leaf by constructing a cigar-shaped cocoon along the midrib of the leaf and then cutting away the remainder of the leaf and wrapping it over the cocoon.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Our records come primarily from the eastern Piedmont and from brownwater river floodplains in the Coastal Plain.
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: There appear to be two broods, with adults on the wing during most of the summer
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All of our records come from rich, wet-to-mesic habitats where Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) is common. These include several sites located within the floodplain or adjoining slopes of the lower Roanoke River, a particularly sediment-rich brownwater river. Other sites include similar floodplain habitats in the Tar and Cape Fear River systems. A more unusual site is an isolated example of rich, old-growth hardwood forest located on the rim of Lake Phelps in the Outer Coastal Plain.
Larval Host Plants: Monophagous or stenophagous, feeding solely on species of Celtis (Hackberries and Sugarberries), which support a fairly rich assemblage of Lepidopteran obligates.
Observation Methods: Known to respond to light and probably to bait but unlikely to flowers.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet-Dry Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [S3S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Isogona tenuis is both a host plant and habitat specialist, but should occur at a wider range of sites and habitats than is indicated by our current records. More surveys need to be conducted within rich-soil habitats, including drier sites in the western Piedmont where Celtis tenuifolia occurs in upland sites. Currently, too little is known about its distribution and abundance to make an accurate assessment of its conservation needs.

 Photo Gallery for Isogona tenuis - Thin-lined Owlet Moth

Photos: 21

Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-08-11
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-06-15
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-06-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-07
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-05
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-08-06
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-27
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-09
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-06-04
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-05-05
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn, Paul Scharf on 2015-06-05
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-05-12
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: SPH on 2012-08-22
Halifax Co.
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Recorded by: SPH on 2012-07-21
Northampton Co.
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