Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Amphipoea Members:
16 NC Records

Amphipoea interoceanica (Smith, 1899) - Interoceanic Ear Moth

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: ApameiniP3 Number: 932446.00 MONA Number: 9456.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLD                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Very similar in color and markings to Amphipoea americana, but is smaller and "a shade more stocky" (Forbes, 1954). According to Covell (1984), the pale filling of the reniform is confined to the outer 2/3 in A. interoceanica. Differences in color and extent of the pale filling in the reniform, however, do not seem as apparent in North Carolina specimens (J.B. Sullivan, pers. obs.).
Wingspan: 30 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Forewing Length: 13 mm (J.B. Sullivan, pers. obs.)
Adult Structural Features: Males are best distinguished by the length and shape of the digitus: "long, pointed, projecting far beyond the lower edge of valve" in americana but "short, obliquely truncate, not projecting beyond edge of valve" in A. interoceanica (described and illustrated by Forbes, 1954). The antennae are somewhat serrate in the males, with the serrations shorter in A. interoceanica than in A. americana (J.B. Sullivan, pers. obs.).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: As of 2023, all of our records for the species come from the mountains, including both low and high elevations.
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)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records all come from natural habitats, including open habitats such as mountain bogs, wet meadows, and high elevation semi-natural grasslands. A few also come from cove forests.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on strawberries, becoming pests on crops in some areas (Wagner et al., 2011). Robinson et al. (2010) also list sedges and grasses. - View
See also Habitat Account for General Montane Forests and Fields
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S2S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Amphipoea interoceanica - Interoceanic Ear Moth

Photos: 3

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-04
Madison Co.
Comment: Wing length = 12.8 mm
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-04
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-07-07
Ashe Co.