Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFGeometridae Members: 9 NC Records

Lytrosis permagnaria (Packard, 1876) - No Common Name

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Superfamily: Geometroidea Family: GeometridaeSubfamily: EnnominaeTribe: AngeroniniP3 Number: 911148.00 MONA Number: 6723.00
Comments: This strictly North American genus contains four species, all of which occur in North Carolina.
Species Status: Barcodes indicate a single species.
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1948); Rindge (1971); Schweitzer et al. (2011)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2003); Schweitzer et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Along with the other members of this genus, L. pergmagnaria is one of our largest Geometrids, with only Epimecis hortaria being slightly larger. Unlike the other species of Lytrosis, all of which have a strong pattern of parallel lines and black, brown, white, and yellow shades, permagnaria is nearly uniformly gray with only the postmedian line usually conspicuous; the only other mark typically present on the forewings is a dark spot at the costa where the antemedian normally terminates. The hindwings have a similar pattern. The outer margins of both set of wings are strongly scalloped.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The caterpillar is a large stick mimic that feeds until September and then enters diapause to overwinter. It begins feeding the following spring, pupates, and emerges in late May (Wagner et al., 2003; Schweitzer et al., 2011).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from close inspection of specimens or by DNA analysis.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Records exist for the Mountains (to 3000') and Piedmont in North Carolina.
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: This genus of moths has a short flight period from early May to mid June, with slightly later dates at higher altitudes.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Habitats recorded over most of the range of this species appear to be ordinary mixed hardwood/pine forests,offering no real clues as to why the moth is so rare (Rindge, 1971; Wagner et al., 2003; Schweitzer et al., 2011). At one of the sites where this species has been recorded in the Piedmont, five specimens have been collected over a two year period in a Piedmont Monadnock Forest, a somewhat restricted community type with similarities to natural communities in the Blue Ridge. The dominant tree species at that site is Rock Chestnut Oak (Quercus montana), which also occurs in the vicinity of two new sites where this species was recorded in 2017.
Larval Host Plants: Unknown but larvae in captivity feed on oaks and hickories (Wagner et al., 2003; Schweitzer et al. 2011).
Observation Methods: At known population sites, adults of both sexes come readily to blacklights, suggesting that their scarcity elsewhere is not simply due to problems with detectability. They do not come to bait.
See also Habitat Account for General Dry-Xeric Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: SR
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G3G4 S2S3
State Protection: Listed as Significantly Rare by the Natural Heritage Program. That designation, however, does not confer any legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species appears to occur in highly localized populations, but associated with habitats that occur vastly more widely. The reasons for this sparsity are unknown, but known host plants do not appear to be limiting factors. Until larvae are found feeding in the wild, however, the ecological relationships of this species remain obscure.

 Photo Gallery for Lytrosis permagnaria - No common name

Photos: 7

Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2018-05-21
McDowell Co.
Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2018-05-16
McDowell Co.
Recorded by: Julie Tuttle on 2017-05-16
Chatham Co.
Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-05-16
McDowell Co.
Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-05-12
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Parker Backstrom on 2014-05-21
Chatham Co.
Recorded by: Parker Backstrom on 2012-05-03
Chatham Co.