Moths of North Carolina
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182 NC Records

Azenia obtusa (Herrich-Schäffer, 1854) - Obtuse Yellow Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AmphipyrinaeTribe: StiriiniP3 Number: 931724.00 MONA Number: 9725.00
Comments: A New World genus of some 8-10 species of which most are from the Southwestern US, one from Argentina and one from the eastern US. Several of these species may be misplaced. A single species occurs in North Carolina. The genus is recognized largely by the prominent frontal tubercle.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have been examined and match those from elsewhere in the eastern United States. There is no evidence of heterogeneity.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984; as Stiriodes obtusa); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Adults easily distinguished by their yellow pattern from every other species in our fauna. Marimatha nigrofimbria also has a tubercle (differently shaped) and is yellow but the pattern is quite different. Sexes are similar.
Adult Structural Features: The male and female genitalia are distinct and should serve to identify the species should the pattern leave some doubt.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae photographed by George Smiley and posted on BugGuide (BugGuide, 2016; see http://bugguide.net/node/view/71914/bgimage) are greenish to yellow-green, with narrow darker green stripes dorsally and a pinkish spiracular stripe on the side. Larvae pupated underground, which is often the case where adults have a well-developed frontal tubercle, used to help push their way upward through the soil.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found throughout the state except in 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: The flight period is from May through September in the Coastal Plain but it is unclear as to whether there are two broods or one protracted one. The main flight period is May-June with specimen records dribbling in over the later summer months.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have records from a wide variety of open to semi-open habitats, with maritime dunes being the major exception. In the Coastal Plain, where most of our records are from, it occurs commonly in Longleaf Pine habitats, with at least a few records coming from marsh edges, peatlands, and floodplain forests. In the Piedmont, it has been found in mafic glades and woodlands, on the dry, semi-open slopes of the monadnocks, and along lakeshores and old fields. In the Mountains, it has been recorded in cove forests, but near roads or ranger stations where disturbed vegetation is present.
Larval Host Plants: Although we were unable to find any published information on the host plants used by Azenia, George Smiley posted two pictures on BugGuide (BugGuide, 2016; see http://bugguide.net/node/view/71914/bgimage), taken in July, 2014 in Texas, of larvae found feeding on Dodder (Cuscuta sp.). Some of them subsequently pupated underground and emerged as adult Azenia.
Observation Methods: Adults come to light readily but we can find no evidence that they respond to bait or visit 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: Even though we are unsure about its host plants, Azenia has a nearly statewide distribution, occupies a wide range of habitats, including disturbed areas, and appears to be fairly common throughout; it, thus, appears to be quite secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Azenia obtusa - Obtuse Yellow Moth

Photos: 21

Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Bo Sullivan on 2022-05-30
Moore Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-06-08
Scotland Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-08-08
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-06-20
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-06-20
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2018-06-05
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-09-02
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2016-07-31
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2014-07-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2014-07-01
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: L. Amos on 2014-06-24
Vance Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2013-07-08
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2012-05-27
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-07-06
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2010-08-15
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2010-08-11
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2010-08-11
Beaufort Co.
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Recorded by: F. Williams, Sam Wells on 2006-08-04
Gates Co.
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