Moths of North Carolina
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16 NC Records

Zale submediana Strand, 1917 - No Common Name

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: OphiusiniP3 Number: 931037.00 MONA Number: 8702.00
Comments: One of 39 species in this genus that occur north of Mexico, 23 of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: (Not in either field guide)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuideTechnical Description, Adults: McDunnough (1943); Forbes (1954); Rings et al. (1992)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Submediana belongs to a group of pine-feeding Zales, all of which possess a sharp, outward-pointing tooth on the antemedian line where the radial vein crosses. Submediana is one of the larger species, similar in size to obliqua and with at least some forms possessing a similar blue-gray ground color (Forbes, 1954; Rings et al., 1992). Differs from obliqua by possesing a medial line composed of three lines, the inner one crossing the forewing well in front (basad) of the reniform instead of along its inner edge (bethunei has a similar triple black medial line but is smaller and darker). Submediana is generally more mottled than obliqua, and the hindwing lacks the blue-gray that is typical of obliqua (Forbes, 1954; McDunnough, 1943 and Rings et al., 1992). While fresh individuals should be identifiable on the basis of a good photograph, worn males may be more conclusively identified by dissection (see McDunnough and Forbes).
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae of submediana are similar to those of the other pine-feeding Zales, with rearing to the adult stage generally required for identification (Wagner, et al., 2011).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Ranges well north and south of North Carolina, so in theory should be fairly well distributed across the state.
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 single brooded, with adults flying only in the spring
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The sites where submediana has been recorded in North Carolina contain a mixture of both upland and wetland pine-containing habitats, including peatlands, floodplains, sandhills, and dry Piedmont ridges. More data are needed to resolve the habitat preferences of this species.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding solely on hard pines. Wagner et al. (2011) specifically mention Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana), which does not occur in North Carolina, and Pitch Pine (P. rigida), which only occurs at one of the sites -- Hanging Rock State Park -- where submediana has been recorded in the state. For the sites in the southern Coastal Plain, Pond Pine (P. serotina), Longleaf Pine (P. palustris), or Loblolly Pine (P. taeda) are all possible host plants.
Observation Methods: Submediana may be poorly attracted to lights, which, along with its relatively early flight period, could be a factor explaining the scarcity of records in North Carolina. Bait is probably a more effective way to sample for it, as is true for several other species of Zale.
See also Habitat Account for General Pine Forests and Woodlands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S3S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: Although an uncommonly collected species in North Carolina, too little is known about the distribution and habitat affinities of submediana to estimate its conservation needs.

 Photo Gallery for Zale submediana - No common name

Photos: 10

Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2022-03-23
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Dean Furbish and Joy Wiggins on 2022-03-05
Wake Co.
Recorded by: David L. Heavner & Vin Stanton on 2019-04-13
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2015-04-04
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-03-31
Orange Co.
Comment: Female. Wingspan = 4.1 cm; forewing length = 2.0 cm. Habitat where this species was collected contains Loblolly, Short-leaf, and Virginia Pines.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-03-31
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Britta Muiznieks on 2014-04-30
Dare Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-04-07
Warren Co.
Comment: Confirmed via specimen by Bo Sullivan
Recorded by: JB Sullivan on 2001-03-31
Craven Co.
Comment: Wing span = 4.1 cm
Recorded by: JB Sullivan on 1995-03-20
Craven Co.
Comment: Wing span = 4.5 cm