Moths of North Carolina
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38 NC Records

Ptichodis bistrigata Hübner, 1818 - Southern Ptichodis Moth

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: EuclidiiniP3 Number: 930934.00 MONA Number: 8751.00
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, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Erebid, with broad, pale violet-brown forewings (Forbes, 1954). The antemedian is yellow and runs straight across the wing; the outer side is lined with brown. The postmedian is slightly more sinuous and is also yellow, but edged on the inner side with brown and only faintly, if at all, on the outer side. This pattern of the dark lines or shading located on the median-side of the lines is different from that of both herbarum and vinculum, where the brown shading is on the outer sides of both lines. Bistrigata also lacks the dark apical spot found in both sexes of vinculum, and also lacks the dark basal spot found in males of herbarum. Hindwings are generally browner than the forewing and are unmarked. Sexes are similar.
Wingspan: 27 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: The genitalic characters of both males and females are distinct and quite different from both P. herbarum and P. vinculum. P. bistrigata is the type species for the genus, our other two species are misplaced.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Early stages are unknown
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Fairly widespread in Fall-line Sandhills and similar xeric habitats in the Outer Coastal Plain. Also occurs more sparsely in the Piedmont and Low 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)

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Flight Comments: There appears to be a single brood on the wing in April in the Coastal Plain and May in the western part of the state. Heppner (2003) gives additional records for July and August indicating a second brood occurs in Florida, if the determinations are correct. Interestingly, there are no July, August records there for P. herbarum whose females are easily confused for this species!
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Appears to be most abundant in xeric Longleaf Pine sandhills, including both Coastal Fringe Sandhills and Pine-Scrub Oak Sandhills further inland. Also occurs in dry upland woodlands, particularly associated with monadnocks in the Piedmont and dry ridges in the Low Mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Host plants are unknown.
Observation Methods: Adults come readily to lights and probably will come to bait but we have no records.
See also Habitat Account for General Dry-Xeric Glades and Barrens
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W2
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G3 S3S4
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Based on our initial surveys in the Coastal Plain, this species appeared to be a strong habitat specialist, occurring in some of the most xeric sandhill habitats we sampled. However, later surveys turned up this species in areas in both the Piedmont and Mountains. Although we still regard it as a dry woodlands and barrens specialist, more needs to be learned about its host plants and exact habitat relationships before an accurate assessment can be made of its conservation needs. Consequently, we propose moving it out of the Significantly Rare category and onto the Watch List until more information is available to clarify its status.