Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFLimacodidae Members: 89 NC Records

Tortricidia testacea Packard, 1864 - Early Button Slug Moth


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Zygaenoidea Family: LimacodidaeP3 Number: 660010.00 MONA Number: 4652.00
Comments: One of three species of this genus to occur in North America, all of which are found in North Carolina
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1923)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner (2005)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The easiest of the three Tortricidia to identify, although like the others there can be considerable variation among individuals. Typical adults have broad forewings that are creamy-pink to pale orange, though some may appear reddish-orange or brown. Distinguished by broad, diffuse rusty-orange shading that runs diagonally from the mid-point of the inner margin to the apex, a feature that can be absent on especially light-colored individuals and hard to distinguish on dark individuals. It typically rests with abdomen curled up above the wings.
Wingspan: 15 mm (Forbes, 1923)
Adult Structural Features: Male antennae are simple; palps reach barely to the vertex; males have two pairs of spurs on the hind tibiae (Forbes, 1923)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: The larva is light green and broadly oval with a red-edged reddish-brown cross-shaped mark on the dorsum. Lateral arms typically extend to or near the bottom edge of body, which helps separate it from the similar T. flexuosa. Posterior arm of cross often narrowed, giving anterior and posterior arms a similar appearance, which helps separate it from the very similar T. pallida (Wagner, 2005).
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably occurs statewide, although we do not have any records from the Barrier Islands
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: Appears to fly from late March to August, with no evidence of separate flights
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come primarily from wet to mesic hardwood forests, including bottomland forests, pond and lakeshores, cove forests, and northern hardwoods.
Larval Host Plants: Broad-leafed trees such as Basswood, Beech, Birches, Black Cherry, Chestnut, Hickories, Oaks, Sourwood, and Witch-hazel (Wagner, 2005).
Observation Methods: Comes well to blacklights. Adults have reduced mouthparts and may not feed; we do not have any records from bait or flowers.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species occurs widely across the state, occupying a broad set of hardwood forests, and making use of a large range of host plants, including many that are common. It therefore appears to be quite secure in North Carolina

 Photo Gallery for Tortricidia testacea - Early Button Slug Moth

48 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2021-05-23
Graham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-05-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-05-19
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-05-10
Richmond Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-05-09
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-29
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-04-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2020-05-18
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Dunn on 2020-05-18
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: Kyle Kittelberger on 2020-05-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-04-26
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Erich Hofmann on 2020-04-26
Craven Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-04-21
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-28
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-05-25
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-05-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2019-05-22
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-04-28
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-03
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-05-16
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Lenny Lampel on 2017-04-29
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, K. Kittelberger on 2017-04-12
Gates Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-06-14
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-05-28
Cabarrus Co.
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