Moths of North Carolina
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Zale Members:
33 NC Records

Zale calycanthata (J.E. Smith, 1797) - Double-banded Zale

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: OphiusiniP3 Number: 931050.00 MONA Number: 8714.00
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: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A large dark brown Zale with bands of strongly contrasting pale gray in the antemedian and subterminal areas (Forbes, 1954; Covell, 1984). The postmedian and subterminal lines run close together, forming a single band over most of the width of the wing; the inner portion corresponding to the postmedian is pale colored and is followed by a darker shade representing the subterminal (Forbes, 1954).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are distinctively green with narrow white stripes (Wagner et al., 2011).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Scattered records exist from all parts of the state except for the barrier islands and High 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: Appears to have a single flight in the spring
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The majority of our records come from dry to xeric sandhills habitats in both the Outer Coastal Plain and Fall-line Sandhills; a few also come from dry ridges in the Mountains and Piedmont. Only a very few possibly come from more mesic habitats where Sweet-shrub occurs.
Larval Host Plants: Host plant range needs to be confirmed but Wagner et al. (2011) list Oaks as the main host plants, although captive larvae will also feed on Apple and Cherry. Association with Sweet-shrub (Calycanthus floridus) was doubted by Forbes (1954), and this species does not occur in the southern portion of the Outer Coastal Plain where we have several records for the moth. - View
Observation Methods: Appears to come well to blacklights, with 12-13 specimens being collected in single traps; probably also comes well to bait, like other Zales
See also Habitat Account for General Dry-Xeric Hardwood Forests
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: This species is probably a specialist on dry-to-xeric oak forests. As such, it is likely to be affected by habitat loss and fragmentation. Currently, too little is known about its exact distribution and habitat affinities in the state to estimate its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Zale calycanthata - Double-banded Zale

Photos: 2

Recorded by: J. A. Anderson on 2022-03-25
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: S. Hall on 2000-03-22
Moore Co.