Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFErebidae Members:
Cutina Members:
107 NC Records

Cutina albopunctella Walker, 1866 - White-spotted Cutina

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: PoaphiliniP3 Number: 930963.00 MONA Number: 8728.00
Comments: One of four species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010). All are restricted to the southeastern United States and have been recorded in North Carolina (Pogue and Ferguson, 1998).
Field Guide Descriptions: Leckie and Beadle (2018; shows a Florida specimen, not the form typically found in NC)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Pogue and Ferguson (1998)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Pogue and Ferguson (1998); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-small, relatively unmarked, grayish-brown Erebid. The ground color of the forewings is light brown, dusted with gray; in northern populations, such as ours, the wings are fairly uniformly colored, rather than streaked as in the Florida populations. The antemedian and postmedian are thin and black, irregular, and often obscure; the subterminal is usually a diffuse white. A pale reniform spot or crescent may be present. Hindwings are buff (Pogue and Ferguson, 1998). Cutina arcuata and aluticolor are somewhat similar but are usually darker and have more conspicuous and contrasting transverse lines.
Forewing Length: 11.2-14 mm, males; 11.8-13.8 mm, females (Pogue and Ferguson, 1998)
Adult Structural Features: The forewings have an angulate outer margin, as in other members of this genus. The male genitalia are distinctive and are described and illustrated by Pogue and Ferguson (1998). In particular, the uncus is diamond-shaped in this species but narrow in the others.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are green with pale stripes, helping them blend in with the foliage on which they feed. Prolegs on A4 are rudimentary and there is a slight hump on the dorsum of A8. See Pogue and Ferguson, 1998, and Wagner et al., 2011 for description and an illustration is given by Wagner et al. Larvae of the four species of Cutina are very similar to one another and should be reared to maturity in order to accurately identify the species (Wagner et al., 2011).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably occurs throughout the range of Taxodium in North Carolina, including the Outer Coastal Plain, Fall-line Sandhills, and a few sites in the eastern Piedmont where cypress swamps occur.
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: Flies through most the growing season, from March to September. Our data indicate there may be three peaks in activity
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have records from the middle of deeply flooded swamps as well as seasonally dry pond cypress savannas
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, probably feeding on both species of Taxodium - View
Observation Methods: Appears to come well to blacklights; we have no records from bait. Larvae can be found by beating the foliage of their host plants (Wagner et al., 2011).
See also Habitat Account for Cypress Swamps and Savannas
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR] [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is a strong host plant and habitat specialist, but on species and habitats that are still widespread in at least the outer third of the state. Several threats exist, however, including sea-level rise and salt-water intrusion along the Coast; draining and conversion of Carolina Bays and other cypress-savannas to agriculture and silviculture; and loss of deep swamp habitats due to timber harvest and creation of impoundments. Despite these threats, and past losses of habitat due to massive timber cutting in bottomland forests, this species currently appears to be relatively secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Cutina albopunctella - White-spotted Cutina

Photos: 5

Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2023-06-18
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: Ed Corey on 2016-06-25
Washington Co.
Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2010-06-26
Camden Co.
Recorded by: FKW, SBW on 2010-06-16
Camden Co.
Recorded by: FKW on 2006-05-23
Gates Co.