Moths of North Carolina
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216 NC Records

Zale minerea (Guenée, 1852) - Colorful Zale


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: OphiusiniP3 Number: 931032.00 MONA Number: 8697.00
Comments: One of 39 species in this genus that occur north of Mexico, 23 of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954), Wagner (2005); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: One of our largest Zales but slightly smaller than Zale lunata. Like lunata, it shows a range of coloration and patterning, most of which overlap those of lunata. The degree of waviness of the postmedian line on the forewing -- usually visible in a good photograph -- is the key character used by Forbes (1953) to distinguish these two species: in minerea (as well as galbanata and phaeocapna) the postmedian shows only a couple of broad waves from the end of the cell to the costa, with a large concave bend located at the end of the cell (roughly paralleling the concavity of the reniform spot). In lunata, the postmedian is much more undulating along this portion of the wing, showing a series of smaller bends but no major concavity at the end of the cell. Compared to galbanata and phaeocapna, which possess similar postmedian lines, minerea usually possess a strongly contrasting sub-apical blotch that is typically triangular or trapezoidal in shape. Like galbanata, but not phaeocapna, there is also usually a medial dash that runs from the subterminal line to the outer margin.
Wingspan: 35-45 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are highly variable and easily confused with those of lunata, both of which feed on a wide variety of woody plants (Wagner et al., 2011). Differences in the shape of the frons and other characters may help distinguish between the species -- see Wagner et al. for details.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: We have records from most parts of the state (although at least some sight records probably represent confusion with lunata); records are missing, however, from the Outer Banks and other barrier islands
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: Probably flies more-or-less continuously throughout the growing season
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Occurs primarily in bottomlands in the Coastal Plain with almost no records from peatland or Longleaf Pine habitats; it also appears to be missing from maritime forests. Occurs in both upland and bottomland habitats across the Piedmont and Mountains, although with most records coming from wet-to-mesic stands.
Larval Host Plants: Polphagous, feeding on a wide range of woody plants, including at least some conifers in addition to broad-leaved species (Wagner et al., 2011).
Observation Methods: Comes to blacklights but usually in small numbers, with up to 5 collected in a single trap. Baiting is a much more productive sampling method, as is true for most Zales.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: Given its wide range of larval host plants, broad habitat associations, and extensive occurrence across the state, this species appears to be secure.

 Photo Gallery for Zale minerea - Colorful Zale

46 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-07-11
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Richard Teper on 2022-06-29
Avery Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-06-21
Caswell Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-04-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-03-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-13
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-04-29
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-30
Bladen Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-24
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-03-28
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-24
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-25
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-04-18
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2018-07-18
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-04-14
Madison Co.
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