Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 4 NC Records

Ptichodis vinculum (Guenée, 1852) - Black-tipped Ptichodis Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: EuclidiiniP3 Number: 930931.00 MONA Number: 8749.00
Comments: A wholly American genus containing 12 species from North and South America. As currently constructed the genus is polyphyletic and some species will eventually be moved elsewhere. There are 7 species found in North America and 3 in North Carolina.
Species Status: No specimens from North Carolina have been barcoded, but specimens from Florida show no evidence of heterogeneity.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Somewhat larger and grayer than Ptichodis herbarum, but otherwise similar in its possession of strongly contrasting antemedian and postmedian lines, both of which are yellow on the basal side and outwardly edged with dark brown. P. vinculum can be easily distinguished from herbarum, however, by its dark apical patch, which is completely missing in herbarum and bistrigata. Males of vinculum also lack the dark spot present in the basal area at the inner margin that is characteristic of herbarum.
Wingspan: 35 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Genitalia: Likely only to be confused with P. herbarum from which females can be differentiated by their squarish ostial plate and males by the significant bump in the middle of the costal margin of the valve.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are apparently undescribed.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Two historic records come from the Piedmont but our only recent records come from a barrier island.
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: In Florida (Heppner, 2003) indicates the species occurs in December and January, which is consistent with our observations, but on Moth Photography Group website there are records given for Florida for virtually all months. Because of confusion with other species, the actual flight period is uncertain.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The Piedmont habitats where this species was historically recorded are unknown. Both of our recent specimens were collected in a strip of maritime forest.
Larval Host Plants: Unknown, but according to Wagner et al.(2011), most members of this tribe feed on grasses and/or legumes rather than on woody species.
Observation Methods: Taken in light traps; response to bait is unknown.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have too few records for this species to be certain about its residency status. Both of the recent records come from a site that had been well surveyed in the past but without this species having been discovered. Similar or even more extensive stands of maritime forest have also been sampled elsewhere along the coast with similar lack of results. On the other hand, both a male and female were found just a few days apart in the same stand in 2017, suggesting that there could be an established population at that site. Re-sampling that site in the coming years will be necessary to establish that fact, however, or the discovery of larvae at that site. If this species is determined to be a true resident of the state, then its status will likely need to be upgraded to Significantly Rare.