Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 620 NC Records

Polygrammate hebraeicum Hübner, 1818 - Hebrew Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AcronictinaeP3 Number: 931497.00 MONA Number: 9285.00
Comments: This genus contains but a single species, confined to North America and occurring throughout North Carolina.
Species Status: Many examples from North Carolina have been sequenced and they fall into what appear to be two species groupings. One is confined to the mountains and western Piedmont, the other occurs in the Coastal Plain and into the eastern Piedmont. We have yet to find both types at any one locality nor do we know exactly where they meet and displace or intergrade. So far, only the barcoding data support the existence of two species and no genitalic differences have been identified. In general, the southern haplotype goes down the coast into Florida and across the Gulf States, while the other haplotype runs from our mountains north into Canada. There is a single southern haplotype from Kentucky but otherwise the separation is clean.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: With its snow white ground color overlaid with black markings, this boldly patterned species should not be confused with any other member of our fauna.
Adult Structural Features: Both male and female genitalia are distinct, especially the tips of the valves, and should serve to identify them should the pattern be obscured.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The green caterpillar with white spotting and white subdorsal lines looks exactly like the caterpillar of Comachara cadburyi, a much smaller species which also feeds exclusively on gum! They can be distinguished by the length of their setae, those of Comachara are much shorter than the setae on Polygrammate. See Wagner et al (2011) for a more complete discussion of the larval habits.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: One of our most widely distributed species, occurring from the Barrier Islands to the High 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: They can be caught throughout the growing season and distinct broods are not apparent
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Occupies virtually all wooded habitats in the state. Occurs in deeply flooded brownwater swamps along the lower Roanoke, where Water Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) is the most likely host plant. In the streamheads of the Sandhills as well as other blackwater or peatland habitats in the Coastal Plain, it is probably associated with Swamp Gum (Nyssa biflora). Over most of the state, however, it probably feeds on Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica), which occurs over a wide range of mesic to dry forests and woodlands.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding solely on Gums (Nyssa spp.). Based on the wide range of hydric to dry habitats it occupies, it probably feeds on all three species of our Nyssa.
Observation Methods: Adults come commonly to lights but seem to be rarely attracted to bait. We have no records of their visiting flowers.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Gum and Tupelo Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: As a single entity, Polygrammate is one of our most widespread and abundant species, occurring in a broad range of habitat types. It thus seems very secure within the state. However, there is a need to carefully compare the life histories of populations in the Mountains and Coastal Plains in order to distinguish whether or not there is simply a deep split in the barcode sequences or whether we have two almost identical species which geographically replace each other. If so, more surveys will likely be needed to determine the distribution and habitats of each form before their individual conservation statuses can be determined.

 Photo Gallery for Polygrammate hebraeicum - Hebrew Moth

89 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Stephen Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2021-09-13
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-08-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-08-14
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2021-08-09
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-08-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Lior Carlson, Richard Teper on 2021-08-03
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Craig Downes & Michael P. Morales on 2021-07-24
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-07-24
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-21
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-21
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-21
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-07-08
Swain Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-07-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2021-07-03
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-06-08
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-06-08
Scotland Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-06-05
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-06-02
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-05-21
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-11
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-10
Richmond Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-28
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-25
Wake Co.
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