Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 49 NC Records

Basilodes pepita Guenée, 1852 - Gold Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AmphipyrinaeTribe: StiriiniP3 Number: 931676.00 MONA Number: 9781.00
Comments: A very distinct genus of 7 species found from Costa Rica into Canada. One species reaches North Carolina.
Species Status: Examples from North Carolina have been barcoded and exactly match specimens from Florida and Oklahoma. There is no evidence of additional, unrecognized species.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Poole (1995)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner (2005); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A large, lovely golden moth. The large, hollow spots and fine, dark postmedian distinguish this species from other bright yellow or gold-colored Noctuids, such as Cirrophanus triangulifer, Stiria rugifrons, and Argyrogramma verruca. Sexes are similar.
Adult Structural Features: Typical for this group of Noctuids and should differentiate it from anything closely resembling it. Note the pointed ovipositor, which probably evolved for laying eggs into the flowers of Asteraceae.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The black and orange caterpillars resemble the larvae of sawflies (Wagner et al, 2011). Middle instar larvae are said to feed at night, later larval stages feed throughout the day and night on the flowers and seed capsules.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found from the mountains into the western Coastal Plain.
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: Single brooded throughout the state, with adults on the wing primarily in late summer, from July through September.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: The majority of our records come from wet, open habitats, where Verbesina alternifolia is common. A few records also come from upland habitats, including some from high elevations. Most of those appear come from mesic woodlands, including Rich Cove Forests and Northern Hardwoods. We have no records, however, from dense riparian forests in the Piedmont or Coastal Plain, nor from sandy or peaty wetlands, such as Longleaf Pine savannas or maritime swales.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on the flowers of species of Verbesina; Wagner et al. (2011) mention that Wingstem (V. alternifolia) is commonly used.
Observation Methods: Adults are attracted to light but it is unlikely they respond to bait. They may be found on Verbesina flowers where they lay eggs, but it is not likely that they nectar.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Wet Meadows
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: We have relatively few records for this species but from a broad area of the state. Host plants and habitats do not appear to be limiting factors, but more data are needed -- probably best obtained from larval surveys -- on the distribution, abundance, host plants, and habitats used in North Carolina before its conservation status can be accurately determined.

 Photo Gallery for Basilodes pepita - Gold Moth

Photos: 30

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-08-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-08-18
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-24
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2018-09-19
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-07
Iredell Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2018-08-18
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2018-08-18
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-09-19
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-09-19
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Kyle Kittelberger, Brian Bockhahn on 2017-09-13
Rockingham Co.
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Recorded by: J. A. Anderson on 2017-05-17
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-08-03
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Leigh Anne Carter on 2015-09-08
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2015-09-07
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2015-09-07
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-09-05
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-09-05
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Jason Brown on 2014-10-07
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-08-31
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: on 2011-08-30
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: J. Anderson on 2010-09-05
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2009-09-14
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2009-08-25
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2009-08-25
Warren Co.
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