Moths of North Carolina
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Metalectra Members:
3 NC Records

Metalectra diabolica Barnes & Benjamin, 1924 - Diabolical Fungus Moth

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: BoletobiinaeP3 Number: 930683.00 MONA Number: 8503.00
Comments: One of eleven species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010), six of which have been recorded in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Barnes and Benjamin (1924); Forbes (1954)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Intermediate in size between Metalectra tantillus and M. albilinea. According to Forbes (1954), diabolica is generally fuscous and marked with extensive areas of light luteous, whereas tantillus is a dull black, marked with cream-colored spots but without any extensive paler areas. Both of these species have relatively strong black reniform spots on the forewings and a black discal spot on the hindwing, but diabolica has a pair of dark median lines on the forewing (Barnes and Benjamin; Forbes), the outermost of which runs through the reniform; diabolica also often has a dark line on the hindwing that also runs through the dark discal spot. These lines are apparently not well-defined in tantillus.
Wingspan: 18-23 mm (Barnes and Benjamin,1924)
Adult Structural Features: The genitalia of diabolica were not described by Barnes and Benjamin (1924) and we do not know of any modern descriptions.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Apparently undescribed
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found in the Coastal Plain and Mountains, but without any clear evidence of resident populations
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: Our records come from May and July
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have two records from riparian habitats and one from a wet pine savanna located close to a blackwater swamp forest
Larval Host Plants: Probably feeds on fungi, like other members of this genus
Observation Methods: We have too little information to determine how well this species comes to lights. Other members of this genus have been observed at bait
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We currently have very few records for this species but we do not have enough evidence to know if it has any breeding populations established in the state. There is also no evidence that it is a habitat specialist, but there is simply too little information to estimate its conservation status in North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Metalectra diabolica - Diabolical Fungus Moth

Photos: 1

Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2016-05-31
Pender Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 21 mm; forewing length = 10 mm