Moths of North Carolina
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30 NC Records

Gondysia similis (Guenée, 1852) - Gordonia Darkwing

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: PoaphiliniP3 Number: 930957.00 MONA Number: 8725.00
Comments: One of four species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010), all of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Species Status: Originally described by Guenee as Ophiusa similis and later treated as Parallelia similis, then Dysgonia similis, briefly as Neadysgonia similis, and currently as Gondysia similis following Sullivan and Legrain (2011)
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Hampson (1913); Sullivan (2010)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized dark brown Erebid. The ground color of the head, body, and both sets of wings is deep reddish brown (Hampson, 1913). The most conspicuous line is usually the medial, which is often shaded with dark brown on the outer side. The antemedian and postmedian vary in prominence and are sometimes obsolete. The orbicular and reniform are also typically absent, but a dark, double-triangular spot is characteristically located just below the apex of the forewing, at the upper end of the subterminal line. The terminal area is usually paler than the subterminal, often matching the shading of the basal half of the wing.
Wingspan: 46-48 mm (Hampson, 1913)
Adult Structural Features: The male reproductive structures of all four members of this genus are illustrated by Sullivan (2015); all are quite distinctive in features of the uncus, valves, and other structures.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae have a plum ground color and are pinstriped with purplish and white lines. A dark subdorsal eyespot on A1 is distinctive, as is a waxy bloom that is particularly evident on the thorax (see Wagner et al., 2011, for details).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Restricted to the Outer Coastal Plain, occurring from the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula southward
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: Multiple brooded, occurring from late April to September
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All of our records come from peatlands or from wet savannas located next to peatlands. Peatland habitats include peat-dome pocosins, peat-filled Carolina Bays, Bay Forests, and Pond Pine Woodlands.
Larval Host Plants: Probably monophagous on Loblolly Bay (Gordonia lasianthus) (Wagner et al., 2011). A larva found on Gordonia by Richard Broadwell was reared to adulthood by J.B. Sullivan (Sullivan, 2010) and JBS has subsequently found two more larvae on that plant (Wagner et al., 2011). All North Carolina records come from sites where that plant is present. - View
Observation Methods: Appears to come well to 15 watt blacklights
See also Habitat Account for Coastal Plain Wet Acidic Shrublands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G3G4 S2S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is highly specialized, feeding on a single species of plant that is itself a peatland specialist. This habitat type has undergone severe reductions in the past due both to peat mining and conversion to agricultural and silvicultural lands. Several large examples are now protected in North Carolina, however, and neither peatland habitats, Gordonia, or the moth currently appear to be in danger of extirpation. On the other hand, that status may change as sea-level rise and accompanying salt-water intrusion begin to eliminate some of the largest peat dome pocosins occurring in the state, with those located on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula probably in greatest jeopardy. Such large losses, or the re-commencement of large scale peatland conversion, could easily change the situation, moving the moth into the Significantly Rare category.

 Photo Gallery for Gondysia similis - Gordonia Darkwing

Photos: 1

Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-04-21
Onslow Co.