Moths of North Carolina
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4 NC Records

Papaipema rutila (Guenée, 1852) - Mayapple Borer

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: ApameiniP3 Number: 932493.00 MONA Number: 9484.00
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
Species Status: Based on larvae discovered feeding on Mayapple, Bird (1907) described this species as Papaipema merriccata. Although recognizing similarities to rutila, as described by Guenee, Bird believed there were differences in the male valves, overall size of the adults, and differences in larval host plants that separated the two. Forbes (1954) further considered rutila to be a synonym of arctivorens based on questions about the type specimen. Currently, merriccata has been recognized as a synonym of rutila and with its host plant established to be Mayapple, is now seen as clearly distinct from arctivorens, whose larvae feed on burdock, thistle and teazel.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Bird (1907, as P. merriccata); Hampson (1913)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-large, orange-brown, white-spotted Papaipema. Bird's description (as merriccata) -- based on individuals reared from Podophyllum-feeding larvae -- appear to be the most accurate (he also described another species -- placida -- now regarded as a synonym of rutila, but whose larvae were unknown}.
Wingspan: 34-43 mm (Bird, 1907, as merriccata); 36 mm (Hampson, 1913, based on Guenee's type)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are described by Bird (1907). Their association with Mayapple should be enough to confirm their identity.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
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
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Records from the mountains come from cove and alluvial forests. Coastal Plain records come from marl forest.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae are borers in Mayapples (Wagner et al., 2011) - View
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 S2S3
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Papaipema rutila - Mayapple Borer

Photos: 2

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-08
Madison Co.
Comment: Forewing length = 14 mm. Mayapple occurs in the vicinity
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-08
Madison Co.