Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
Family (Alpha):
« »
View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Syngrapha Members:
13 NC Records

Syngrapha alias (Ottolengui, 1902) - No Common Name

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: PlusiinaeTribe: PlusiiniP3 Number: 931225.00 MONA Number: 8939.00
Comments: One of 24 species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Poole, 1991; Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010). Most are northern and only two species have been recorded in North Carolina, both as disjuncts from their primary range in the North.
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Lafontaine and Poole (1991)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Lafontaine and Poole (1991); Maeier et al. (2011); and Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Looper with a dark gray ground color mottled with white. The lines are irregular and marked with silvery to yellowish-white. The orbicular and reniform are usually obscure but may be narrowly outlined by silver. The most prominent and distinctive mark is a large silver stigma, consisting of two spots that are usually joined by a silver line. The hindwings are fuscous and usually darker towards the margin. Most other Loopers that occur in our area do not have the blackish ground color of S. alias. Syngrapha rectangula is the most similar in both ground color and general markings, but is much strongly mottled with black and white patches and has spots and lines that are more heavily marked with silver (Forbes, 1954).
Wingspan: 28-32 mm (from measurements of illustrations in Lafontaine and Poole, 1991)
Adult Structural Features: Both male and female reproductive structures are distinctive and are used in an identification key for Syngrapha species by Lafontaine and Poole (1991) (who also provide illustrations).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are dark green and striped with white. Syngrapha rectangula larvae are very similar and feed on the same host plants; rearing to adulthood is probably necessary in order to determine the identity of these species.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Confined to the High Mountains in North Carolina.
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: Probably univoltine, with all of our records coming from June and July
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: All of our records come from Spruce-Fir Forests on the tops of some of our highest mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Oligophagous, feeding primarily on Spruce (Picea spp.) and Fir (Abies spp.) but possibly also on other conifers (Forbes, 1954; Lafontaine and Poole, 1991; Maeier et al., 2011; and Wagner et al., 2011). - View
Observation Methods: While this species comes to blacklights, all of our records are for single specimens from any one sample. We do not have any records from bait.
See also Habitat Account for Spruce-Fir Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S2?
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to be one of the species most closely associated with Spruce-Fir Forests in North Carolina, a highly restricted and increasingly threatened ecosystem; currently, populations are known from only three sites. Although this species appears to be secure globally, being common in boreal forests in the North, it's disjunct and probably relict populations in North Carolina appear to be at great risk of extirpation, an event they are unlikely to ever recover from.

 Photo Gallery for Syngrapha alias - No common name

Photos: 3

Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Mark Basinger and Becky Elkin on 2024-06-25
Yancey Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 1992-07-23
Watauga Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 1992-07-23
Watauga Co.