Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Franclemontia Members:
10 NC Records

Franclemontia interrogans (Walker, 1856) - Franclemont's Cane Moth

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: ApameiniP3 Number: 932432.00 MONA Number: 9444.00 MONA Synonym: Phragmatiphila interrogans
Comments: The sole member of this genus, which was created for this species by Ferguson (1992); previously it had been placed in Phragmatiphila. Based on genitalic features, Ferguson considered Chortodes to be the closest related genus. This species and genus are endemic to the Southeast.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Ferguson (1992)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Apameine. The forewings are pale tan with a darker brown horizontal streak. The orbicular is a small dark spot and the reniform a narrow, sinuous, pale mark with a dark center (Ferguson, 1992). Hindwings are darker brown.
Adult Structural Features: Males have pectinate antennae. Genitalia of both sexes are distinct, with those of the males differing from all other members of this tribe (see Ferguson, 1992, for a detailed description and illustrations).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae have not yet been described but have been reared by Eric Quinter.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Currently known only from the Outer Coastal Plain but could turn up in other areas of the state in association with canebrakes
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
Immature 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: Univoltine, flying in the early spring
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our few records come from areas with extensive growths of cane, including Non-riverine Swamp Forests and Longleaf Pine Flatwoods.
Larval Host Plants: Ferguson (1992) thought that Franclemontia was likely to feed on some species of tall grass and Quinter (2001) identified it as a cane-feeding species. - View
Observation Methods: Our few records come from blacklight traps but as with other species that feed on cane, it may be more routinely discovered by searching canebrakes at night (Quinter, pers. comm.).
See also Habitat Account for Coastal Plain Cane Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G3G4 S2S3
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Long considered rare and poorly known (Ferguson, 1992), we have very few records for this moth despite having sampled many areas specifically for cane-feeding species. More surveys need to be conducted in cane habitats during the early spring in order to better determine its distribution and abundance in the state.

 Photo Gallery for Franclemontia interrogans - Franclemont's Cane Moth

Photos: 6

Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2024-05-04
Transylvania Co.
Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2024-04-08
Wake Co.
Recorded by: Tony McBride on 2023-03-05
Carteret Co.
Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-03-20
Onslow Co.
Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan on 2019-03-28
Craven Co.
Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2011-04-23
Camden Co.