Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 4 NC Records

Elaphria cyanympha Ferguson, [1989] - No Common Name



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: ElaphriiniP3 Number: 932204.00 MONA Number: 9297.20
Comments: One of fifteen species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010), of which ten have been recorded in North Carolina. Originally placed by Ferguson (1988) in the genus Cryphia but provisionally moved to Elaphria by Lafontaine and Schmidt (2010).
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Ferguson (1988)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A small lichen-mimic Noctuid with greenish-white or light blue-green forewings. The basal, antemedian, and postmedian lines are all black and partly edged with white and there is a prominent black rectangle projecting from the antemedian to the end of the cell. Black lines are also present on the head and collar and there is a variable black shading in the terminal area and fringe. Hindwings are brownish-gray (Ferguson, 1988). Emarginea percara is similar but is larger, has a black basal dash, and has a more extensive dark u-shaped filling in the median area.
Adult Structural Features: Male and female genitalia were described and illustrated by Ferguson (1988)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae do not appear to have been described
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Appears to be restricted to the southern half of the Outer 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: Possibly bivoltine, with records in the early spring as well as late summer
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from dry hardwood and sandhill habitats, including highly xeric sand barrens. This is consistent with Kons and Borth's (2008) identification of this species as dependent on Xeric Oak-Pine Habitats in Florida.
Larval Host Plants: Unknown, but Ferguson (1988) speculated they might feed on lichens, based on records for the closely related Puerto Rican species, Elaphria jucundella. Ferguson mentioned tree lichens in the genus Usnea as particular possibilities. Given the apparent association with xeric sandhills, lichens in the genus Cladonia -- often abundant in those habitats -- also seem possible.
Observation Methods: Appears to come well to blacklights, with multiple individuals being caught at most of the sites where the species has been found
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Xeric-Mesic Sand Barrens and Glades
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 S2S3
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation does not confer any legal protection, however, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Despite the extensive moth surveys that have been conducted in sandhills habitats in the Coastal Plain, we have very few records for this generally poorly known species. It does not appear to be difficult to capture, however, suggesting that it is truly localized in its distribution and has specialized habitat needs. More information is needed about its larval hosts, however, which should help to more accurately determine its conservation needs.

 Photo Gallery for Elaphria cyanympha - No common name

Photos: 1

Recorded by: SPH on 1995-04-27
Pender Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 1.6 cm; forewing length = 0.4 cm