Moths of North Carolina
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2 NC Records

Lithophane oriunda Grote, 1874 - Immigrant Pinion

No image for this species.
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: XyleniniP3 Number: 932541.00 MONA Number: 9894.00
Comments: One of 51 species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010, 2015), 25 of which have been recorded in North Carolina
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Crumb (1955)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Pinion. The forewings typically have a dark, reddish-brown ground color, with heavy white shading along the costa that often forms a wider patch at the base of the wing (Forbes, 1954). The antemedian and postmedian lines are usually inconspicuous but the subterminal is often present as a white-shaded line. The orbicular and reniform are both sharply defined with a fine black outer ring and strongly contrasting with the ground color: they are either filled with cream-white or contain a white inner ring that contrast with both the outer ring and the dark center of the spot. A black-edged, claviform spot is also usually evident, connecting the antermedian and postmedian lines but usually more conspicuous than either of those lines. Hindwings are light fuscous with darker veins. Differs from other Lithophane that have a reddish-brown form by possessing clean-cut spots that are finely ringed with black (Forbes, 1954). Lithophnae joannis is particularly similar but has a darker black-brown ground color and less contrastingly pale spots (Covell and Metzlar, 1992).
Wingspan: 35-37 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: As in other members of Forbes' Lithophane Group I (= Innominata Group of Wagner et al., 2011), the male valves have a well-developed corona and digitus. The clasper is also well-developed and the abdomen is tufted. Forbes does not provide an illustration for oriunda, however, and does not describe any genitalic or other structural features that separate it from other members of this group.
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The general color of the larvae is gray. The middorsal and subdorsal lines are pale and broad but fairly inconspicuous; the subdorsal line is strongly shaded with purple. A series of shield-shaped dark spots is located along the dorsal surface and a black line extends through the spiracles. The pattern is generally similar to those of the other members of the Innominata Group and they may need to be reared to adulthood to confirm their identity (see Forbes, 1954, and Crumb, 1955, for more detailed descriptions; an illustration of one of Franclemont's specimens is shown on the MPG website).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Our only records come from the northern Mountains
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Our only records come from the spring, but this species probably follows the same flight behavior as other members of this genus, with adults emerging in the fall, overwintering in that stage, and becoming active again in the spring.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Both of the recorded locations in North Carolina are associated with fairly rich, mesic but successional stands of hardwoods at elevations between 3,000 and 4,000 ft.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae were reared by Franclemont on Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) (cited by Forbes, 1954) - View
Observation Methods: Like other Lithophanes, L. oriunda appears to come at least to some extent to blacklights but probably is much more likely to be observed at bait.
See also Habitat Account for Montane Rosaceous Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 S1?->[S1S3]
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Forbes (1954) considered this species to be rare and local and prior to Lynch's discovery of this species in northwestern North Carolina, it had not apparently been found south of Pennsylvania and West Virginia (Forbes, 1954; NatureServe Explorer, 2016). We still have very few records for this primarily Northern species, although it does not appear to be confined to high elevation forests or other restricted types of habitat. More needs to be learned about its specific host plant and habitat relationships in North Carolina before an accurate assessment can be made of its conservation status.