Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
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View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Amphipoea Members:
104 NC Records

Amphipoea americana (Speyer, 1875) - American Ear Moth

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: ApameiniP3 Number: 932447.00 MONA Number: 9457.00
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLD                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Very similar in color and markings to Amphipoea interoceanica, but is larger and not as stocky (Forbes, 1954).
Wingspan: 30-35 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Forewing Length: 16 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 longer in americana than in A. interoceanica (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
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 come mainly from high elevation forests and semi-natural grasslands, but also from wet meadows and bogs. One isolated Piedmont record comes from a residential area adjacent to both fields and bottomlands.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae reportedly feed on sedges and grasses, including corn, but have also been recorded on iris (Wagner et al., 2011). We do not have any feeding records in North Carolina. - View
See also Habitat Account for General Montane Forests and Fields
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S4S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Amphipoea americana - American Ear Moth

Photos: 6

Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2023-06-13
Transylvania Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-07-20
Madison Co.
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-06-28
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-06-28
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2019-06-20
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf,B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger on 2012-07-25
Ashe Co.