Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Ponometia Members:
1 NC Records

Ponometia tortricina (Zeller, 1872) - No Common Name

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AcontiinaeTribe: AcontiiniP3 Number: 931326.00 MONA Number: 9101.00
Comments: One of 34 species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010), six of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Poole (2017)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-small, yellowish to greenish-gray Acontiine. The ground color of the forewings, along with the head and body, ranges from dirty yellow to mouse gray (Forbes, 1954). Transverse lines are missing, and the orbicular and reniform are present only as small dark spots; a dark, oblique shade may be present running up from the inner margin to the center of the wing (Forbes, 1954; Poole, 2017). Hindwings are light brownish-gray. Ponometia parvula is similar in size and markings, but is a brighter yellow, has darker shading extending in from the outer margins, and lacks the oblique dark marking extending inward from the inner margin (Poole, 2017).
Wingspan: 20 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Both the male and female reproductive structures are distinctive (see Poole, 2017, for illustrations and description)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Undescribed (Poole, 2017)
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Our sole record comes from the mountains in Macon County
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)

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Flight Comments: Flies in September in North Carolina but we have no information on its overall flight period
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: This species is associated with prairies and other grasslands in the Mid-West and West (Metzler et al., 2005). In North Carolina, however, our one record comes from a clearing on a forested mountain slope (see Metzler, et al.)
Larval Host Plants: Unknown (Poole, 2017) - View
Observation Methods: Comes to blacklight but to an unknown extent
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: W3
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S1S3]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is one of several primarily prairie species that have been recorded in North Carolina. Most of these are probably relicts from the Hypsithermal interval, roughly 7,000 to 5,000 years ago, when the climate was significantly warmer and drier, allowing western species to invade eastern North America. Most of the moths that appear to be Hypsithermal relicts - stranded following the return of cooler, wetter conditions -- are associated with prairie plants and occur in open, somewhat prairie-like habitats, e.g., sandhills. In the case of Ponometia tortricina, however, these connections are far less clear. Surveys need to be conducted for this species in glade and barrens habitats in the southern mountains to document its status as a resident species in North Carolina and to clarify its conservation needs.