Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 12 NC Records

Psychomorpha epimenis (Drury, 1782) - Grapevine Epimenis Moth

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AgaristinaeP3 Number: 931975.00 MONA Number: 9309.00
Comments: A North American genus with a single species
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have not been barcoded but sequences from Florida to Connecticut are very similar indicating that the species is likely to be homogeneous
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, strikingly marked Noctuid. The white windows on the forewing and red windows on the hindwing are unique. Sexes are similar.
Wingspan: 22-27 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Male and female genitalia have good characters and are diagnostic. Forbes (1954) describes unique characters in the tympanum.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The brightly colored black and white caterpillar with orange patches is similar to the caterpillars of Eudryas species but much smaller.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably found throughout the state but we currently only have records from the Mountains and Outer Coastal Plain
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: Our records come primarily from March and April, but there is one historic record from August from the Great Smoky Mountains
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: One of our records comes from maritime scrub habitats on a barrier island, where grapes are abundant. Habitats at the other sites for which we have records are less clear but appear to include both upland and lowland forests.
Larval Host Plants: Vitis (grapes) although we know of no records of attacks to domestic varieties.
Observation Methods: Like many other agaristine noctuids, the adults are day flyers. Look for adults early in the spring when blues and orange tip butterflies are on the wing. Our only captures are from plum blossoms but adults are said to puddle. We have never seen adults in light traps or at lighted sheets. Wagner et al (2011) suggest looking for larvae in folded-over leaf patches about 6-7 leaves back from the growing tip. The caterpillar seems to feed within this folded shelter. Search the edges of fields and woodlands.
See also Habitat Account for General Vitaceous Tangles
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have curiously few records of what is thought to be a common diurnal species. More diurnal surveys need to be conducted during the early spring before we can be sure how common and widely distributed this species is in North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Psychomorpha epimenis - Grapevine Epimenis Moth

Photos: 8

Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-04-14
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2018-04-18
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2018-03-28
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2017-03-29
McDowell Co.
Recorded by: Hunter Phillips on 2016-03-30
Onslow Co.
Recorded by: Salman Abdulali on 2013-04-09
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2012-03-20
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2004-03-29
Carteret Co.