Moths of North Carolina
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50 NC Records

Hyppa xylinoides (Guenée, 1852) - Common Hyppa Moth

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: XyleniniP3 Number: 932664.00 MONA Number: 9578.00
Comments: Currently the genus contains 6 species (Troubridge and Lafontaine, 2004). The type is Eurasian but the remaining species are from North America, two of which occur in North Carolina. The pattern of maculation is strongly conserved.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have been barcoded and are consistent with those from elsewhere in the species’ range; there is no evidence of heterogeneity. Our two species are clearly separated.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The genus is fairly easy to recognize from the wing pattern, the two species are more difficult and shown in the accompanying figure. The brownish suffusion in H. contrasta and the overall darker appearance should separate it from H. xylinoides which appears more uniform and streaked. Note that the orbicular and reniforms spots often touch in H. contrasta but are usually well separated in H. xylinoides. Both are collected together but H. contrasta is usually larger. Sexes are similar.
Adult Structural Features: The genitalia are somewhat variable and distinguishing the two species of Hyppa using their genitalia can be tricky. In males there is a sclerotized ridge at the base of the valve which is smooth in H. xylinoides and with small projections and more rounded in H. contrasta. In the female the posterior portion of the ostium is rounded in H. contrasta and truncated in H. xylinoides. Furthermore, the bursa is much more streaked and slightly granulated than in H. xylinoides. These differences are somewhat at variance with those given in Troubridge and Lafontaine (2004) and may reflect geographic differences.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are yellowish-brown with a white spiracular line on the first thoracic segment that becomes wider and more grayish along the rest of the body; segment A8 is also humped (see Wagner et al., 2011, for illustrations and a detailed description). Differences that separate xylinoides and contrasta have not yet been identified.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Most records are from the Mountains but a specimen has been taken in the northeastern part of the Piedmont, indicating that it could be found much more widely across at least the western two-thirds of the state.
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: Appears to have two broods in North Carolina.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come primarily from wet to mesic habitats, including riparian forests, cove forests, and northern hardwoods. The one Piedmont record comes from a residential neighborhood located along the shoreline of a reservoir.
Larval Host Plants: Wagner et al (2011) state that Hyppa caterpillars feed on a wide variety of forbs and low woody plants but they were unable to rear any caterpillars to adults and thus the food preferences and larval color pattern of the two species are inseparable at present.
Observation Methods: Adults readily come to lights but information on their response to bait and flowers is lacking. Caterpillars should be sought at night.
See also Habitat Account for General Montane Mesic Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [G5 SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Formerly believed to be associated with montane forests but has now been discovered in the eastern Piedmont. More needs to be learned about its presence and habitat associations outside of the Mountains before its conservation status can be determined.

 Photo Gallery for Hyppa xylinoides - Common Hyppa Moth

Photos: 6

Recorded by: Richard Teper on 2022-06-29
Avery Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-05
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-03
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-03
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: tom ward on 2022-05-03
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Jackie Nelson / Doug Blatny on 2012-08-13
Ashe Co.