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

Cutina aluticolor Pogue & Ferguson, 1998 - Brown Cutina

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: PoaphiliniP3 Number: 930965.00 MONA Number: 8729.10
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: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Pogue and Ferguson (1998)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-small, light brown Erebid. The ground color of the forewings is a fairly uniform light brown. Although Pogue and Ferguson (1998) state that both the basal and antemedian lines are absent, the photos they provide, along with most specimens illustrated on-line, show these lines to be black, fairly jagged, and sharply defined. The antemedian is slightly bordered with pale on the interior side, and as is the postmedian on the outer side, particlarly at the costa. Spots are absent as is black shading, except a small amount at the tornus. Hindwings are light brown. Cutina albopunctella is similar in its fairly uniform ground color but lacks the white borders to its lines and often possesses a pale reniform spot. The forewings of Cutina distincta and arcuata are far less uniform, with prominent black patches and other contrasting markings.
Forewing Length: 9.8-11.2 mm, males; 9-11.2, females (Pogue and Ferguson, 1998)
Adult Structural Features: The outer margin of the forewing is angulate, as in other members of this genus. The reproductive structures of both sexes are distinctive and are described and illustrated by Pogue and Ferguson (1998). The uncus is narrow and of equal width over its length, distinguishing this species from albopunctella. Differences in the valves and their processes serve to separate distincta from arcuata and aluticolor. In females, the lobes of the eighth sternite and sclerotization of the sinus vaginalis can be used for identification (Pogue and Ferguson, 1998).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable only by close inspection of structural features or by DNA analysis.
Immatures and Development: Immature stages were not described by Pogue and Ferguson (1998) or Wagner et al. (2011). They are likely to be similar to those of the other members of this genus, however, 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 Coastal Plain, including the Fall-line Sandhills.
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: Adult fly from mid-March to mid-September, with evidence for several peaks in activity
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records for this species come from riverine or lakeshore swamps. None come from non-riverine swamps or pond cypress savannas.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding on Taxodium, probably mainly on Taxodium distichum - View
Observation Methods: Comes well to blacklights; none of our records come from bait
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.