Euchlaena madusaria Hugh D. McGuinness

Euchlaena madusaria
Hugh D. McGuinness

Class
Insecta (Insects)
Family
Geometridae (Loopers, Span Worms, Inch Worms, Geometer Moths)
State Protection
Not Listed
Not listed or protected by New York State.
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
S1
Critically Imperiled in New York - Especially vulnerable to disappearing from New York due to extreme rarity or other factors; typically 5 or fewer populations or locations in New York, very few individuals, very restricted range, very few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or very steep declines.
Global Conservation Status Rank
G4
Apparently Secure globally - Uncommon in the world but not rare; usually widespread, but may be rare in some parts of its range; possibly some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors.

Summary

Did you know?

Euchlaena madusaria is not an extremely strong flier. It is thought to fly approximately 1 meter/second, or approximately 2.2 mi/hr (NatureServe 2010).

State Ranking Justification

Euchlaena madusaria has not been found at many locations despite substantial trapping effort on Long Island. Three populations have been documented in Suffolk County since 1997. This moth is found locally in dry woodlands and adjacent scrublands, mostly in sandy or barrens areas. Additional surveys are needed to better understand its status and distribution in New York State.

Short-term Trends

The short-term trend for Euchlaena madusaria in New York State appears to be stable. At one of three populations documented in the state, moths were captured in 1997 and 2005, resulting in seven adults captured over the course of the two survey years. This indicates that the population is viable and reproducing. The other two populations were first documented in 1997 or 2007, respectively, and have not been surveyed since. Most of the populations are on protected land.

Long-term Trends

The long-term trend for Euchlaena madusaria in New York State is unknown. There are historical records from Yaphank. Surveys should be conducted in Yaphank to determine if a population still exists at that location.

Conservation and Management

Threats

Elimination and fragmentation of habitat by commercial and residential development are probably the most significant threats to Euchlaena madusaria. In addition, fire suppression and allowing succession to a more closed canopy may eliminate some suitable habitat in the Dwarf Pine Barrens.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices

Periodic controlled burns or mechanical removal of vegetation are needed to maintain the natural community at the Dwarf Pine Barrens. In addition, restricting ATV use and minimizing lighting to maintain dark sky conditions in occupied areas would be beneficial.

Research Needs

Additional research is needed to document larval foodplants and more precise habitat needs of Euchlaena madusaria. Additional inventory and monitoring is also needed. The species is best captured at blacklight or bait at night in dry woodlands and adjacent scrublands in sandy or barrens areas that contain larval foodplants, which are reported to include various trees (including oaks) and blueberry. In New York State, it has been captured flying most often in June, and also in late May and in early September. There are historical records of Euchlaena madusaria from Yaphank, and surveys should be conducted in Yaphank to determine if a population still exists at that location.

Habitat

Habitat

Euchlaena madusaria inhabits dry woodlands and adjacent scrublands in sandy or barrens areas that contain larval host plants, which are reported to include various trees (including oaks) and blueberry. In New York State, it has been found in several habitats including pitch pine-oak-heath woodlands, maritime heathlands, and dwarf pine plains.

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Dwarf pine plains (guide)
    A woodland community dominated by dwarf individuals of pitch pine and scrub oak that occurs on nearly level outwash sand and gravel plains in eastern Long Island. The soils are infertile, coarse textured sands that are excessively well-drained.
  • Maritime heathland (guide)
    A dwarf shrubland community that occurs on rolling outwash plains and moraine of the glaciated portion of the Atlantic coastal plain, near the ocean and within the influence of onshore winds and salt spray.
  • Pitch pine-oak-heath woodland (guide)
    A pine barrens community that occurs on well-drained, infertile, sandy soils. The structure of this community is intermediate between a shrub-savanna and a woodland. Pitch pine and white oak are the most abundant trees.

Range

New York State Distribution

Euchlaena madusaria is found in Suffolk County, with three populations documented in recent decades, and historical records from Yaphank.

Global Distribution

Euchlaena madusaria is widespread in eastern Canada, and it is found locally, mostly in sandy or barrens areas in the United States south to southern New Jersey (NatureServe 2010).

Best Places to See

  • Napeague State Park (Suffolk County)

Identification Comments

Identifying Characteristics

This is a yellow-tan moth with thin, distinct antemedial, postmedial, and subterminal lines. The outer third of the forewing is darker with a pale mark at the tip. The edge of the forewing is smooth (Schmidt 2003). The wingspan is approximately 28 mm. The larvae are grey-brown and striped, and look like twigs (McGuffin 1981).

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

The adult is the best life stage for identification. It is recommended that larvae be reared to the adult stage for positive identification.

Behavior

Adults are nocturnal and lay up to 225 eggs. Eggs hatch in approximately ten days. Larvae overwinter when they are almost mature (McGuffin 1981).

Diet

Larvae are reported to feed on various trees (including oaks) and blueberry.

Best Time to See

The best time to see Euchlaena madusaria is during its flight season. In New York State, it has been captured flying most often in June, and also in late May and in early September.

  • Present
  • Reproducing

The time of year you would expect to find A Geometrid Moth present and reproducing in New York.

A Geometrid Moth Images

Taxonomy

A Geometrid Moth
Euchlaena madusaria (Walker, 1860)

  • Kingdom Animalia
    • Phylum Mandibulata (Mandibulates)
      • Class Insecta (Insects)
        • Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies, Skippers, and Moths)
          • Family Geometridae (Loopers, Span Worms, Inch Worms, Geometer Moths)

Comments on the Classification

Forbes (1948) called this species Duchlaena astylusaria.

Additional Resources

References

Forbes, William T. M. 1948. Lepidoptera of New York and neighboring states part II. Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station Memoir 274.

McGuffin, W. C. 1981. Guide to the Geometridae of Canada (Lepidoptera), II Subfamily Ennominae. 3. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada, no. 117: 153 pp.

NatureServe. 2010. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. (Data last updated August 2010)

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

North American Moth Photographers Group at the Mississippi Entomological Museum. No date. Mississippi State University, Mississippi. http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/MainMenu.shtml

Opler, Paul A., Kelly Lotts, and Thomas Naberhaus, coordinators. 2010. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Bozeman, MT: Big Sky Institute. <http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/> (accessed May 2010).

Schmidt, B.C. 2003. Euchlaena madusaria. University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum. Online. Available: <http://www.entomology.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=4200> (accessed 15 August 2011).

Schweitzer, Dale F. 1998. Rare, potentially rare, and historic macrolepidoptera for Long Island, New York: A suggested inventory list.

Links

About This Guide

This guide was authored by: Andrea Chaloux

Information for this guide was last updated on: May 3, 2019

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. Online Conservation Guide for Euchlaena madusaria. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/a-geometrid-moth/. Accessed August 25, 2019.

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