Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 408 NC Records

Phosphila miselioides (Guenée, 1852) - Spotted Phosphila Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: PhosphiliniP3 Number: 932209.00 MONA Number: 9619.00
Comments: A New World genus of some 8 species of which 3 occur in the United States and 2 in North Carolina. Together with Acherodoa ferraria, they are the only members of the tribe Phosphilini in our state. Placement of the tribe is uncertain (Wagner et al, 2011).
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have been examined and match other specimens from throughout a large portion of North America. There is no evidence of unrecognized species in the complex.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The greenish color pattern will differentiate this species from most other moderately-sized Noctuids. Two forms are found, with and without a large white reniform spot. Freshly emerged individuals are quite striking.
Adult Structural Features: The male genitalia are readily identified because the valves have almost no features but the vesica has two large patches of cornuti. In the female the bursae is long and narrow, quite unlike most other Noctuids.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Caterpillars are frequently found at the growing tip of the vines, are green with a white spiracular line and white, well-spaced dots on the dorsum. The prepupa turns black but the white spots persist.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found statewide, from the Barrier Islands to the High 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: There are probably three broods in the Coastal Plain and two in most mid and low mountain regions. The broods seem to be drawn out so that one can expect adults almost any time from April through September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Found wherever the plant genus Smilax occurs, including dry maritime dunes, scrub, and forests; peatlands; Longleaf Pine savannas and flatwoods; floodplain forests; and mesic forests, including Cove Forests and Northern Hardwoods in the Mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Smilax is the foodplant but we do not know which species are selected and which are not. The role this species plays in controlling the invasive green vine would be a good study subject.
Observation Methods: Adults are attracted to light but we are unaware of any reports of them visiting flowers. They do come to bait at times.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Greenbrier Tangles
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Widespread and occupies a wide range of fairly common habitats. Appears to be secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Phosphila miselioides - Spotted Phosphila Moth

64 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-09-09
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-20
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-05-11
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2021-05-05
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-05-05
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Morgan Freese on 2021-04-08
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-15
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2020-08-14
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2020-08-14
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2020-08-14
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-07-27
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-07-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-17
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-11
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-05-25
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-05-16
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-16
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-04-30
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-05
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2019-08-03
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2019-07-29
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-12
Guilford Co.
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