Moths of North Carolina
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13 NC Records

Eupsilia tristigmata (Grote, 1877) - Three-Spotted Sallow



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: XyleniniP3 Number: 932590.00 MONA Number: 9935.00
Comments: A genus of the Northern Hemisphere with some 17 described species, including 8 in North America, with several more about to be described. North Carolina has 6 described and 1 undescribed species, some of which are extremely similar in wing pattern.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina barcode with ones from New Jersey but those examined so far from Quebec, Canada likely represent another species. The type is from Massachusetts and it is not known which population it represents.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIFTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954; descriptions of Eupsilia are available online at http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/MothTalkDownload/MothTalk010.htm)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: One of the five species of Eupsilia in our area with dentate postmedian lines, tristigmata is usually recognizable by its strongly mottled orange and brown forewings (Forbes, 1954). This species, like E. devia, also has shorter wings and thus they appear smaller than the other species. Forbes (1954) refers to the distinct orbicular, the usually distinct claviform, and the large, kidney-shaped reniform spot with a dark shade at the ventral margin as distinctive but we have found these difficult to score in North Carolina populations. Most likely confused with E. vinulenta, which it overlaps only in the Piedmont area, but the shorter wings are usually obvious.
Adult Structural Features: Scales in the middle of the forewing are curled at their ends in this species but uncurled in vinulenta (a character seen under magnification). The male genitalia of our Eupsilia species are very similar. In E. tristigmata the proximal end of the juxta is rounded but the median area forms a distinct tip. On the distal side the neck area is narrowed and long. In the female, the bursa appears to have 4 signa and the surrounding area is sclerotized, the ostial plate is rounded proximally and deeply incised distally. There is a distinct outpocket from the bursa copulatrix.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Eupsilia larvae are all similar to one another: variable in color; a narrow spiracular stripe usually the most prominent but with other lines also present; a darkened prothoracic shield, usually with two pale stripes. Wagner et al. (2011) recommend that larvae be reared to adulthood in order to determine the species.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Records are mostly from the Mountains but there are also several from the eastern Piedmont.
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: We have records from every month from Oct.-Mar. but likely the species hibernates during the coldest months and awakes to fly on unusually warm days.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Wagner et al. (2011) list woodlands, forests, barrens, and heathlands as habitats used by this species. North Carolina records come primarily from mesic sites, including riparian forests and lakeshores.
Larval Host Plants: This species appears to prefer cherry and heath family species (Wagner et al., 2011). Although there are many records from other common trees, these may refer to what captive larvae will eat and not what they select in nature. No host records exist from North Carolina.
Observation Methods: Adults readily come to bait and have been collected in light traps.
Wikipedia
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Currently, there are too few records from North Carolina to determine the distribution, abundance, host plants, and habitat affinities of this species. More surveys need to be conducted in the late fall and early spring in order to determine the conservation status of this species.

 Photo Gallery for Eupsilia tristigmata - Three-Spotted Sallow

Photos: 9

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-02-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-01-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-01-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-02-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-02-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-12-15
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-02-18
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-01-19
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2009-11-29
Warren Co.
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