Moths of North Carolina
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Zale Members:
36 NC Records

Zale metata (Smith, 1908) - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: OphiusiniP3 Number: 931043.00 MONA Number: 8708.00
Comments: One of 39 species in this genus that occur north of Mexico, 23 of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Species Status: 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.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: (Not in either field guide)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: McDunnough (1943); Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Metata is a light brown member of the pine-feeding group, closely resembling both Z. metatoides and confusa (Forbes, 1954). According to Smith (repeated by McDunnough, 1943 and Forbes, 1954) metata is much paler than metatoides and somewhat grayer in the antemedian area and redder just beyond the reniform; the lines are also more obscure. In our specimens, metata appears to be duller than metatoides with less contrast between zones; the postmedian, however, appears to be well defined in several specimens. Our specimens of metata appear to be most similar to confusa, but are slightly smaller, darker, and more reddish -- we strongly recommend dissecting specimens of these species in order to confirm their identities.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae of metata are also similar to those of the other pine-feeding Zales with identification generally requiring them to be reared to the adult stage (Wagner, et al., 2011).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
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) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Probably has at least two broods (Wagner et al., 2011), largely overlapping with Z. bethunei, which also feeds on Scrub Pine
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Scrub Pine typically grows 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: Essentially monophagous, feeding only on Scrub Pine (Pinus virginiana) in our area (Forbes, 1954; Wagner et al., 2011) - View
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 S3S4
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 metata to estimate its conservation needs.

 Photo Gallery for Zale metata - No common name

Photos: 23

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2024-03-31
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2023-03-20
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson, Stephen Dunn on 2022-06-04
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2021-07-17
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2021-07-17
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2021-04-26
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-05-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-03-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2019-07-29
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-06-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-06-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-04-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-04-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-03-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2015-04-07
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-08-26
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-07-21
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-06-20
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-04-14
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: JBS on 1996-06-18
Stokes Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 3.9 cm
Recorded by: JBS on 1996-06-18
Stokes Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 3.7 cm
Recorded by: JBS on 1996-06-18
Stokes Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 3.7 cm