Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 49 NC Records

Ennomos magnaria Guenée, [1858] - Maple Spanworm Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: EnnominiP3 Number: 911227.00 MONA Number: 6797.00
Comments: A moderately large (17 species) and peculiar Asian genus with species in Europe and North America. Two species reach North Carolina.
Species Status: North Carolina specimens have been barcoded and are similar to those from other locations throughout the eastern US.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1948); Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: One of our most spectacular Geometrids, this large, stout yellow-orange and brown species is likely a fall yellow leaf mimic. Sexes are similar. It is likely to be confused only with our two species of Selenia, which are similar in size, coloration, and scalloped wing margins. However, both of our Selenias fly earlier in the year, with only a small amount of overlap between magnaria and Selenia kentaria in the late summer. Selenia kentaria can be distinguished by the presence of pale bands or frosting on both the lower and upper surfaces of the wings, which is absent in magnaria.
Wingspan: 50-55 mm (Forbes, 1948)
Adult Structural Features: Both males and females have distinct genitalia though dissection should rarely be needed to confirm its identity.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The caterpillar is a robust brown-and-green twig mimic with swellings over A3 and A5 (see Wagner et al., 2001, for illustrations and a more detailed description). Eggs overwinter.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: The majority of our records come from the Mountains, including from high elevations. It is apparently more sparsely distributed in the Piedmont and also occurs in the Outer Coastal Plain. It thus probably has a statewide distribution.
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: A single brooded species that hails the coming of fall. In the Mountains at higher elevations adults can be seen in July whereas in the Coastal Plain they are rarely seen before October. This is typical for a number of species which are on the wing much earlier in the mountains than in the Coastal Plain.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come almost exclusively from mesic hardwood forests. In the Mountains, we have records from riparian stands, cove forests, and high elevation hardwood forests. In the Piedmont, our records come mainly from upland forests associated with mafic soils. In the Coastal Plain, we have at least a few records from riparian hardwoods growing in a fairly nutrient-rich area associated with a marl layer located close to the surface. A few records from the Fall-line Sandhills come from sites with more acidic, sandy soils.
Larval Host Plants: Polyphagous, feeding on a wide variety of hardwood trees and shrubs (Wagner, 2001); specific records for North Carolina need to be obtained
Observation Methods: Adults come readily to light, males in much larger numbers than females. We have no records of either coming to bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is widely distributed in the state, if sparsely east of the Mountains, and makes use of a wide range of fairly common types of forest. It thus appears to be secure within the state.

 Photo Gallery for Ennomos magnaria - Maple Spanworm Moth

Photos: 17

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-10-13
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-10-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-10-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2021-09-14
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-10-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-10-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2017-08-30
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-08-02
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: J. A. Anderson on 2014-10-25
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-10-16
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: J. Mickey on 2013-10-15
Alleghany Co.
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Recorded by: J. Mickey on 2013-10-15
Alleghany Co.
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Recorded by: T. Nergart on 2013-10-14
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Jackie Nelson / Doug Blatny on 2012-10-23
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2012-10-15
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2010-10-09
Buncombe Co.
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