Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 4 NC Records

Papaipema cerina (Grote, 1874) - Golden Borer


Taxonomy
Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AMPHIPYRINAEP3 Number: 932466.00 MONA Number: 9464.00
Comments: One of 44 species in this genus that occur in North America north of Mexico (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010, 2015), 30 of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Schweitzer et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-large Papaipema. The ground color of the forewings is a bright sunflower yellow, with dark brown shading in the antemedian and subterminal areas, as well as forming the outlines of the spots. The lines are reddish brown, as is the terminal area except for the apex, which is the same yellow as in the median area. The spots are fairly diffuse and the lines are waved to strongly dentate in the case of the postmedian. The hindwings are a paler buff color with diffuse grayish-brown lines and shading towards the outer margin; the fringe is mainly grayish- or reddish-brown mixed with buff.
Wingspan: 50 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: The male valves, as illustrated by Forbes (1954), appear to be unique among our Papaipema in their possession of a corona and an elongated spine patch located on the dorsal edge of the sacculus; the ventral projection of the cucullus is also comparatively poorly developed.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Although the life history has been described (Hessell, 1954; Schweitzer et al., 2011; Wagner et al., 2011), descriptions of the larvae appear to be lacking. Young larvae associated with Bottlbrush Grass (Elymus histrix) are likely to be this species but older larvae feed on host plants used by other species of Papaipema and need to be reared to determine the species.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Known in North Carolina so far only from the northern half of the 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: Univoltine, with adults flying in late September
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Recorded in Rich Cove Forests between 2,950 and 3,800 ft. in elevation. Botanical surveys conducted in the vicinity of one of the trapping sites have documented the presence of Bottlebrush Grass, Mayapple, Starry Campion, Canada Lily, and Gray's Lily.
Larval Host Plants: Young larvae feed on Bottlebrush Grass (Elymus hystrix), switching later to Lilies, Mayapple, or Starry Campion (Schweitzer et al., 2011).
Observation Methods: Reported to come well to blacklights (Schweitzer et al., 2011)
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Montane Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G2G4 S1S2
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: The range of this species is concentrated in the Great Lakes States. Prior to its discovery in Ashe County, it had apparently not been found south of Pennsylvania or northern New Jersey. Like several other disjunct species found at high elevations in the Southern Appalachians, Papaipema cerina is likely to be a Pleistocene relict in our area. Over much of its range, it is uncommon to rare, and is known only from historic records in many states (Schweitzer et al., 2011). The reasons for its decline are not yet documented, but over-browsing by deer of forest forbs is one possibiliy (Schweitzer et al., 2011). As a possible Pleistocene relict in our area, the threat due to global climate change is probably significant.

 Photo Gallery for Papaipema cerina - Golden Borer

Photos: 9

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-10-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-10-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Tom Ward on 2020-09-10
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Tom Ward on 2020-09-10
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Tom Ward on 2020-09-10
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2018-09-24
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2018-09-24
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2018-09-24
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan on 2014-09-25
Ashe Co.
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