Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 58 NC Records

Ennomos subsignaria (Hübner, [1823]) - Elm Spanworm Moth



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: EnnominiP3 Number: 911229.00 MONA Number: 6798.00
Comments: A moderately large (17 species) and peculiar Asian genus with species in Europe and North America. Two species reach North Carolina.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina have been barcoded and are virtually identical with those from elsewhere including Canada. The species shows almost no variability at this locus.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The large size and pure white wings make the moth extremely distinct; it is unlikely confused with any other species in our fauna other than Eugonobapta which has a very different wing shape. Sexes are similar.
Adult Structural Features: Male antennae are bipectinate to the apex, with the pectinations scaled and attached at the apex of the antennal segments (Forbes, 1948). Only the distal pair of spurs on the hind tibiae are well developed. Male genitalia are distinct; we have not yet dissected a female.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The caterpillar is a typical brown twig mimic. Eggs overwinter.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Most of our records are from the Mountains. Piedmont records are rare so far but that rarity needs to be verified. Uncommon in the 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: There is a single brood but in the mountains it extends over several months.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: We have records from a wide range of hardwood forests, including maritime forests, non-riverine and riverine swamp forests, mesic mixed hardwoods, xeric sand ridges, cove forests, and high elevation forests.
Larval Host Plants: Apparently the caterpillar will feed on a wide variety of trees and shrubs (Wagner, 2001); we need specific records for North Carolina.
Observation Methods: Adults have been captured at light by the hundreds but all have been males. The females must not respond to light. Neither sex is recorded at 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.
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 Photo Gallery for Ennomos subsignaria - Elm Spanworm Moth

Photos: 9

Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2021-05-27
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-05-26
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-06-07
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-06-07
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-06-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-08-14
Cabarrus Co.
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