Moths of North Carolina
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Callopistria Members:
186 NC Records

Callopistria mollissima (Guenée, 1852) - Pink-shaded Fern Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: EriopinaeP3 Number: 932192.00 MONA Number: 9631.00
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: Multiple specimens from North Carolina have been barcoded and are similar to those from elsewhere in the species’ range. There is no evidence of sibling species.
Identification
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: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The broad, reddish postmedial line and the prominent silver horseshoe mark in the reniform space serve to characterize this species. The abdominal tuft is well developed.
Adult Structural Features: The basal brushes on the valves seen in the other three Callopistria species are absent and the attachment of the two valves is moved posteriorly. The sclerotization of the aedeagus and the shape of the vesica differ as well. However, the subterminal tergite has a sclerotized plate, which while different from that in C. granitosa and C. cordata, argues that this species is probably a member of the same genus.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The caterpillar is greenish or reddish, with oblique white and red stripes (Wagner et al., 2011). There aer two prominent lines on the head capsule found in two other of our species of Callopistria and in Fagitana; this character may be convergent for moths feeding on ferns.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found across the state, 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: Our collecting records are throughout the growing season and clear broods are not apparent. It does appear to have one less brood at higher elevations.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have records from a wide range of mostly mesic or wet habitats, including maritime forests, peatlands, Longleaf Pine savannas and flatwoods in the Coastal Plain; riparian, lakeshore, and mesic forests throughout the state; and cove forests and northern hardwoods in the Mountains.
Larval Host Plants: Although Wagner et al (2011) list Hay-scented and New York Ferns as foodplants, neither of those species are in the Coastal Plain where this species is common. We badly need records of which ferns are being used in the various regions of the state.
Observation Methods: Attracted to lights but no records of it coming to bait or attracted to flowers.
Wikipedia
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: The wide distribution and broad range of habitat types occupied by this species makes this species secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Callopistria mollissima - Pink-shaded Fern Moth

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

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-07-15
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2022-07-15
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L.M. Carlson, Becky Watkins on 2022-06-09
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-05-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-05-27
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-20
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-26
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-06-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-08-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2019-07-09
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2019-06-30
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2019-06-02
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-10
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2018-06-28
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Julie Tuttle on 2017-06-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-05-30
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Robert Gilson on 2015-05-18
Mecklenburg Co.
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