Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 86 NC Records

Heterophleps triguttaria Herrich-Schäffer, [1854] - Three-spotted Fillip



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Taxonomy
Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: LarentiinaeTribe: LobophoriniP3 Number: 910488.00 MONA Number: 7647.00
Comments: A large genus with most members from India and China. Three species occur in the USA and two in North Carolina. Our species appear to be congeneric with some of the species from China but other species from China may be misplaced.
Species Status: Specimens from North Carolina are similar to those from elsewhere in its range and no heterogeneity has been observed.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2001)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A moderately small Geometrid with disproportionately large forewings. The three black costal markings on a field of yellow-green are diagnostic.
Adult Structural Features: Genitalia are similar to other Laurentine Geometrids but diagnostic for our species.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are pale green and somewhat nondescript (see Wagner et al., 2001, for an illustration and a detailed description). When disturbed the larvae form a tight coil and are known to hurl their frass pellets.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Found throughout the state except at the highest elevations.
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: Probably single brooded at moderate to high elevations and multiple brooded in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Over most of the state, this species is associated with riparian forests and freshwater marshes, habitats where Clearweed is common (Weakley, 2015). It also is associated with riparian habitats in the Mountains but also occurs in Rich Cove Forests and other mesic stands of hardwood forest located up on slopes; the host plants used in those habitats have not been determined, but could include other species of nettles.
Larval Host Plants: Monophagous, Larvae recorded from Clearweed (Pilea) (Wagner et al., 2001). Earlier reports that Maples are used were questioned by Wagner et al., who failed to rear them on Maples under artificial rearing conditions.
Observation Methods: Adults have been recorded in light traps and are unlikely to be attracted to bait. Occasionally seen when walking through wet areas.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Broadleaf Herbaceous Mires
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S4S5]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Although a host plant specialist and at least something of a habitat specialist, this species is currently widespread in riparian habitats across the state and mesic hardwoods in the Mountains.

 Photo Gallery for Heterophleps triguttaria - Three-spotted Fillip

Photos: 22

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-06-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-15
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-08-23
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-05-28
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2019-06-02
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-08-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2018-07-13
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-06-08
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2018-05-23
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2017-04-28
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-09-17
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-08-01
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Coin, C. Sorenson on 2015-07-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-07-14
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2013-06-01
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-06-09
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2012-05-25
Halifax Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2011-05-26
Buncombe Co.
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