Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 74 NC Records

Metaxaglaea viatica (Grote, 1874) - Roadside Sallow


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: XyleniniP3 Number: 932598.00 MONA Number: 9944.00
Comments: One of five species in this genus that occur in North America, all of which have been recorded in North Carolina.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Schweitzer (1979)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Schweitzer (1979); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Metaxaglaea viatica, violacea, and semitaria are all medium-large Noctuids with similar wing patterns: dentate postmedian and antemedian lines; large,red-encircled orbicular and reniform spots; and a contrastingly dark band between the postmedian and the subterminal lines. Externally, they differ primarily in color, which can be subtle and highly dependent on the lighting conditions. The ground color of viatica is usually a leather brown, with less red/violet than violacea and less yellow/orange than semitaria (see Schweitzer, 1979, for details).
Adult Structural Features: Male genitalia are very similar to those of violacea, both possessing long, thin spines at the apex of the valves; australis and semitaria, in contrast, have short spines. Specimens of viatica often lack dorsal spines on the cucullus of both valves, whereas specimens of violacea usually have a spine on at least one of the valves (see Schweitzer, 1979, for illustrations as well as more detailed descriptions).
Structural photos
Immatures and Development: Larvae are dull grayish-brown, similar to those of other Metaxaglaea; see the key to last instar larvae given by Schweitzer (1979) for details concerning their differences.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably occurs statewide, 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: Univoltine, with adults flying primarily in the fall and early winter, but with at least some individuals persisting into January, or even as late as March in the Coastal Plain.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from a variety of habitats, including Maritime Forests, Longleaf Pine Savannas and Sandhills, lakeshores and swamps, and upland ridges.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous, probably feeding primarily on members of the Rosaceae: larvae have been found in the wild on apple, crab apple, chokeberry, and mountain ash (Wagner et al., 2011). In captivity, larvae also accept blueberry, red maple, and oaks, although with variable results and with at least some of these hosts becoming unsuitable as their leaves mature (Schweitzer, 1979).
Observation Methods: Like other Metaxaglaeas, this species appears to come well to both blacklights and bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Rosaceous Thickets
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: With a statewide distribution, association with a number of common host plants and common habitats -- including residential areas -- this species appears to be secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Metaxaglaea viatica - Roadside Sallow

Photos: 29

Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-11-17
Brunswick Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-03-10
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-12-04
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-12-04
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-12-04
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: R. Newman on 2020-11-25
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-11-15
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: on 2019-11-22
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2019-10-08
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-12-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-12-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-11-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-11-19
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-11-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-11-17
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-11-12
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-11-12
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-11-04
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-10-28
Orange Co.
Comment: female
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-10-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-10-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2014-11-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2014-11-17
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2013-10-17
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-10-20
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: T. DeSantis on 2009-11-14
Camden Co.
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Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2005-12-28
Carteret Co.
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Recorded by: Newman, Randy on 2004-11-24
Carteret Co.
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