Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFErebidae Members:
Zale Members:
31 NC Records

Zale bethunei (Smith, 1908) - Bethune's Zale


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: OphiusiniP3 Number: 931040.00 MONA Number: 8705.00
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)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuideTechnical 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 on the antemedian line where the radial vein crosses. Bethunei is fairly easy to recognize, being reddish brown with a heavy overlay of blackish scales. The median line is often composed of triple lines of black, strongly contrasting with lighter reddish brown areas before and after; the postmedian and subterminal lines are also usually black (Forbes, 1954; Rings et al., 1992).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae of bethunei are relatively constant in coloration, striped pale gray and yellowish brown, and are relatively easy to identify, especially if found on Scrub Pine (Wagner, et al., 2011).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably follows the distribution of Scrub Pine in North Carolina, which is absent over the Coastal Plain but widespread in the Piedmont and 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: Has at least two broods and a partial third in North Carolina(Wagner et al., 2011); largely overlapping with Z. metata, which also feeds on Scrub Pine
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Scrub Pine grows typically on dry upland sites, including old fields (Weakley, 2012); it is also common on badly eroded sites or other areas with severe soil disturbance. Our records come primarily from dry, upland slopes in the Piedmont and Mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Monophagous, feeding only on Scrub Pine (Pinus virginiana) (Forbes, 1954; Wagner et al., 2011)
Observation Methods: May come poorly to lights, which could explain the scarcity of records for what should be a fairly common species. Probably comes well to bait, like other members of this genus.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Dry-Xeric Pine Forests and Woodlands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S3S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands
Comments: Although seemingly an uncommon species in North Carolina, too little is known about the distribution and habitat affinities of bethunei to estimate its conservation needs.

 Photo Gallery for Zale bethunei - Bethune's Zale

Photos: 19

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-03-23
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-03-06
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-26
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-10
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-03-11
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-03-10
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-13
Guilford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-06-28
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-03
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-04-03
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-24
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-14
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-13
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-10
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-01
Madison Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Scharf, S. Hall on 2015-07-22
Stanly Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2015-03-26
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2012-06-15
Cabarrus Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: JB Sullivan on 2004-07-12
Swain Co.
Comment: Wing span = 3.5 cm