Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 37 NC Records

Metaxaglaea inulta (Grote, 1874) - Unsated Sallow


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: NoctuinaeTribe: XyleniniP3 Number: 932597.00 MONA Number: 9943.00
Comments: One of five species in this genus that occur in North America, all of which have been recorded in North Carolina.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Schweitzer (1979)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Schweitzer (1979); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-large Noctuid. Similar in size to other Metaxaglaea and also in possessing loose reddish hair on the thorax but only a low crest, if any. Easily distinguished from other Metaxaglaea and the similar Epiglaea decliva by its evenly honey- to butterscotch-washed brown ground color, its contrastingly purplish-black antemedian and postmedian lines, and its lack of strong dentation on any of the transverse lines except for the terminal, which is strongly zig-zagged (the basal line may also have a tooth in some specimens). Also unlike other species of Metaxaglaea, the subterminal area is not contrastingly darker than the rest of the wing, but similar to other Metaxaglaea in that the orbicular and reniform are large, well-defined, and outlined by red.
Wingspan: 44-48 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult Structural Features: Genitalia of both sexes are similar to those of Metaxaglaea semitaria and australis (Schweitzer, 1979).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are dark gray-brown with a pale cream mid-dorsal line (see Wagner et al., 2011, for an illustration; more details of all instar larvae are given in Schweitzer, 1979). Larvae are similar to those of M. semitaria and australis (Schweitzer, 1979) and may need to be reared to adulthood in order to confirm their identities. These other species, however, do not feed on Viburnums, so any individuals found feeding on those host plants are likely to be inulta. Eggs laid in the fall overwinter and hatch in the spring.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: All but one record from Fort Bragg in the Sandhills come from the Piedmont and Low Mountains
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: Univolitine, with the adults flying only in the fall.
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Most of our records come from fairly low-lying areas, including riparian forests and lakeshores, where Viburnum dentatum and prunifolium are the two most common species of likely host plants. We also have records from upland habitats in the Piedmont, where other species of Viburnum -- particularly Downy Arrow-wood (Viburnum rafinesqueanum)-- are common.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding on Viburnums (Forbes, 1954; Schweitzer, 1979; Wagner et al., 2011). Wagner et al. state that Southern Wild Raisin, V. nudum is used especially. However, we have few records for inulta from blackwater or peatland habitats in the Coastal Plain where V. nudum is common. Records from the Piedmont and Low Mountains come from sites primarily where Arrow-wood Viburnums are likely host plants.
Observation Methods: Comes well to both blacklights and bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Viburnum Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [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 somewhat specialized in terms of both host plants and habitats, and in some areas it may have declined due to over-browsing of its host plants by deer. The scarcity of records in North Carolina is likely due, however, to its late season flight period. Since it still appears to occur over a wide area and in habitats that are still fairly common, we believe its populations are relatively secure in the state.

 Photo Gallery for Metaxaglaea inulta - Unsated Sallow

Photos: 29

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-10-13
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-10-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-10-08
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-27
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-07
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2020-10-04
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-11-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-11-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-11-07
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-10-30
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-10-05
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-09-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-10-09
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-30
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2018-09-26
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-10-22
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-11-17
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-11-03
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-10-28
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-10-28
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2014-11-05
Orange Co.
Comment: Downy Arrow-wood and Maple-Leaf Viburnum are common around the observation site.
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2014-11-05
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2013-10-14
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-10-13
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-11-10
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-10-31
Warren Co.
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