Moths of North Carolina
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153 NC Records

Zale obliqua (Guenée, 1852) - Oblique Zale


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: OphiusiniP3 Number: 931034.00 MONA Number: 8699.00
Comments: One of 39 species in this genus that occur north of Mexico, 23 of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Zale obliqua and squamularis are closely related and apparently form a species complex with one or more undescribed species (Wagner et al., 2011)
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: McDunnough (1943); Forbes (1954); Rings et al. (1992)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954), Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Belongs to a group of pine-feeding Zales, all of which possess a sharp, outward-pointing tooth where the radial vein crosses the antemedian line. Obliqua is one of the easier species in this group to recognize: smoothly patterned pale brown and blue gray, with only a slight contrast between the antemedial and postmedial areas (before and after the medial line). The medial line forms a boundary between a lighter, more basal area and a darker, more distal area; this line is contiguous with the inner edge of the reniform in obliqua and Z. squamularis but crosses the wing before the reniform in the other pine-feeding species. Obliqua is larger than squamularis and differs by having a much less contrasting medial line (which is blackish in squamularis) and showing much less contrast between the pale antemedial area and the darker postmedial area; male reproductive structures are illustrated by McDunnough (1943) and Forbes (1954).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae of obliqua are very similar to those of squamularis and some of the other pine-feeding Zales; identification requires rearing them to the adult stage (Wagner, et al., 2011).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Occurs over most of the state except the High Mountains
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: Appears to have just a single brood in the Mountains but may have a spring and summer brood in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The majority of our records come from the Coastal Plain, where it is associated with a range of wet-to-xeric forests: blackwater and brownwater floodplain forests, Non-riverine Swamp Forests, Coastal Fringe Evergreen Forests and Maritime Deciduous Forests, Wet Longleaf Pine Savannas and Flatwoods, and Pine-scrub oak Sandhills. In the Piedmont and Mountains, it has been recorded in both wet, riparian habitats and dry ridges.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, apparently feeding on just a few species of pine. Wagner et al. (2011) state that Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida) is the primary host plant in the North. In North Carolina, however, Pitch Pine is restricted to the Mountains, where it may be used to some extent although there are also a number of other possibilities. Over most of its range in North Carolina, obliqua probably uses Longleaf Pine (P. palustris) and Loblolly Pine (P. taeda), occurring at some sites where each of these two pines is the only one present. It may also feed on Pond Pine (P. serotina) -- a close relative of Pitch Pine -- which often occurs in combination with the other two species. However, we only have a few records from peatland habitats, where Pond Pine is most abundant, and only from sites where Loblolly is also present.
Observation Methods: Comes well to both blacklights and bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Pine Forests and Woodlands
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: Although the distribution in the Piedmont needs to be better documented, obliqua occupies a wide range of habitats across most of the state and appears to be secure.

 Photo Gallery for Zale obliqua - Oblique Zale

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

Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-07-26
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Lior Carlson, Becky Watkins, Richard Teper, Stephen Dunn on 2022-07-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-18
Chowan Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2022-07-18
Chowan Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-07-04
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-05-31
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-05-19
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2022-05-04
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2022-04-25
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-03-30
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-14
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-07-29
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-07-15
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-07-13
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-07-11
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-07-09
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-19
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-10
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-05-06
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-03
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-29
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-04-27
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-12
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-08-06
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-05
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-07-28
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-07-25
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-07-17
Durham Co.
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