Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 63 NC Records

Callopistria floridensis (Guenée, 1852) - Florida Fern Moth

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: EriopinaeP3 Number: 932190.00 MONA Number: 9630.00
Comments: This is a very large genus found worldwide. We have 5 species in the US and Canada of which 4 occur in North Carolina. The genus contains reddish species which feed on ferns and is likely polyphyletic, including our 4 species.
Species Status: No specimens from North Carolina have been barcoded. However specimens from Florida, Oklahoma and Texas have and there is significant heterogeneity in the samples. Additional specimens are needed to resolve whether or not there are multiple species under a single name. This species appears by barcoding to be most closely related to a number of Asian species.
Field Guide Descriptions: Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The pattern and color of the forewings are striking and unique among our moth species. The ground color is pinkish- to olive-brown. A dark brown basal dash is present and a triangular or trapezoidal wedge of dark brown located at the middle of the costa is the most conspicuous mark; a subterminal dark patch may also be present. A pale, pinkish or silvery band extends obliquely from the inner margin to the costa, bordering the median basal patch on its outer side. This line then bends around sinuously, merging with the postmedian. Other pale lines border the other dark spots and a pale adterminal line may also be present.
Wingspan: 28-35 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: The male genitalia of this species show characters in common with C. cordata and C. granitosa but they are all somewhat different from that of C. mollissima except for the plate on the tergite. The base of the valves is very complex and the prominent tufts or brushes seen in C. cordata and C. granitosa are much reduced in this species. The terminal tergites have peculiar sclerotized structures that will serve to identify this species.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The caterpillars are extremely variable in color (see Wagner et al (2011)) and hide quite well in potted ferns.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: As a migrant this species has been taken almost exclusively in eastern North Carolina but it should occur throughout the state as well.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.

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Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

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