Moths of North Carolina
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191 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)
Species Status: 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.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: McDunnough (1943); Forbes (1954); Rings et al. (1992)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954), Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: 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.
Wingspan: 40 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Male reproductive structures are illustrated by McDunnough (1943) and Forbes (1954), but the main differences between squamularis and obliqua is size: the left valve is about 7 mm long in obliqua compared to 5 mm in squamularis. For other structural differences separating squamularis and obliqua from the other pine-feeding Zales, see key to the male genitalia in 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)

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