Moths of North Carolina
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Ptichodis Members:
122 NC Records

Ptichodis herbarum (Guenée, 1852) - Common Ptichodis Moth

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: EuclidiiniP3 Number: 930932.00 MONA Number: 8750.00
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: Specimens from North Carolina have been sequenced and are similar to those from elsewhere. No evidence for hidden species exists.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Crumb (1955); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Similar in size and pattern to Ptichodis bistrigata and vinculum; all three species possess strongly contrasting yellow and dark antemedian and postmedian lines. Male herbarum are easily distinguished from the other two by their possession of a dark spot located in the basal area just in front of the antemedian line near the inner margin. Both sexes of vinculum can also be easily distinguished by their possession of a dark apical spot that is not present in herbarum or bistrigata. Females of herbarum are likely to be confused only with P. bistrigata, but can be identified by the placement of the yellow and black lines making a wedge in the middle of the wing. In P. bistrigata the inner lines (facing each other) are both black. In P. herbarum one is black, the other yellow.
Wingspan: 28 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Genitalia: In the female the ostial plate is broadly triangular but squarish in P. vinculum and insignificant in P. bistrigata. The male genitalia are similar to those of P. vinculum but the uncus is noticeably divided and the costa of the valva does not have a broad bump in the middle.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are similar to other members of this tribe (Euclidiini), having long, spindle-shaped bodies -- widening towards the middle -- and marked with a series of fine stripes. Crumb (1955) describes features that can be used to distinguish herbarum from species of Caenurgia and Caenurgina, but until the larvae of other members of Ptichodis are described, it is uncertain how to distinguish among these three.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found throughout much of the state though rarely common. Particularly uncommon to rare in the western Piedmont and Mountains.
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 the Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont there appear to be three flight periods.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Records from the Coastal Plain come from both xeric sites, such as barrier islands and sand ridges, and wet-to-mesic sites, such as bottomland, swamp, and other riparian habitats; we have no records from pure peatland habitats, however. In the Piedmont and Mountains, records also come from both upland and lowland habitats. Records also appear to be divided between forest habitats and those that are either naturally or artificially open.
Larval Host Plants: Reared by Franclemont on Bush Clover (Lespedeza spp.) (see Forbes, 1954; Crumb, 1955), although there do not appear to be any other host plant records (Wagner et al., 2011). According to Wagner et al., members of this tribe (Euclidiini) typically feed on either grasses or legumes (or both). - View
Observation Methods: Adults have been recorded in light traps and likely are attracted to bait but we have no specific records. Occasionally flushed from vegetation.
See also Habitat Account for General Forests and Fields
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [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 uncommon but possibly occurs throughout the state, at least at lower elevations, and occupies a wide range of habitats. Consequently, it appears to be secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Ptichodis herbarum - Common Ptichodis Moth

Photos: 19

Recorded by: Jim Petranka, John Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2023-06-14
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2023-06-13
Scotland Co.
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper, Erich Hofmann, Jesse Anderson on 2023-05-22
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper on 2023-05-21
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2023-05-17
Richmond Co.
Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn on 2023-03-27
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2022-08-28
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2022-08-20
New Hanover Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan, and Steve Hall on 2022-07-25
Scotland Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-06-01
Montgomery Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-31
Moore Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-09
Moore Co.
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-06-26
Chatham Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-11
Scotland Co.
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-22
Guilford Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-06-16
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2016-04-12
Hoke Co.
Comment: Male
Recorded by: Robert Gilson on 2015-08-12
Mecklenburg Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-04-24
Warren Co.
Comment: Female