Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 32 NC Records

Anterastria teratophora (Herrich-Schäffer, [1854]) - Gray Marvel Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: PseudeustrotiiniP3 Number: 932207.00 MONA Number: 9284.00
Comments: The genus Anterastria contains two species and one of them occurs in North Carolina. The other is confined to eastern Asia.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have been studied and their sequences are identical to those from Illinois and Ontario. Identical sequences are usually restricted to widely ranging species where migration eliminates local differentiation. Furthermore, it appears that the sequences of the Asian species are most similar to our Anterastria indicating the recent movement of the species from the genus Agriopodes to Anterastria was correct.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Agriopodes teratophora); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Crumb (1955); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Our species is easily identified by its maculation, a blackish moth with a single large white reniform patch on each forewing. It most closely resembles some of the smaller species of Acronicta but none of them have the distinct white reniform patch. Sexes are similar.
Wingspan: 25 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Both sexes have reproductive structures with distinct characters.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are green with a white subdorsal stripe (Forbes, 1954). A larvae illustrated by Wagner et al. (2011) has a thin white mid-dorsal line, as well as one located on the lower side of the body; Crumb (1955), however, says that it completely lacks a mid-dorsal pale line.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: While the species is known from much of North America, in North Carolina it seems to be found primarily in the Mountains, with one record from the western Piedmont
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: The species is on the wing throughout the mid-summer period and probably has two broods
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The majority of our records come from wet to mesic habitats, including riparian and other wet meadows, as well mesic slopes and cove forests.
Larval Host Plants: Both Forbes (1954) and Crumb (1955) list Monarda and Mentha as host plants, with Crumb and Wagner et al. (2011) specifically mentioning Bee-balm (Monarda didyma). Horse-mint (Monarda punctata) is also listed by Wagner et al. In North Carolina, Mentha spp. are quite rare and Bee-balm fits well with most of the habitats where we have observed this species. Its presence in the Piedmont suggests that it also uses Horse-mint or other species of Monarda.
Observation Methods: Adults readily come to light but have not been seen at bait
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Montane Broadleaf Herbaceous Mires
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: While apparently uncommon, this species is relatively widespread in the Mountains, where it occupies relatively common types of habitats. More needs to be learned about the host plants used in North Carolina, as well as its distribution in the Piedmont.

 Photo Gallery for Anterastria teratophora - Gray Marvel Moth

Photos: 13

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-13
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-05-08
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-06-14
Ashe Co.
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