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Nanina Oak-Slug Moth - Euclea nanina - male

Nanina Oak-Slug Moth - Euclea nanina - Male
Durham County, North Carolina, USA
July 14, 2004
Found on a lighted window.
Image updated 7/6/16 with a slightly improved version.

Moved from Euclea.

differentiating species Euclea
Hi, thanks for your editorial expertise. We have had quite the discussion over the years about how to differentiate delphinii from nanina. Do you have any details on how the species-level ID can be made?

This might help

Moved from Spiny Oak-Slug Moth. (Reversing my earlier move--being now older, and only very slightly wiser!)

Moved back!
Moved from Nanina Oak-Slug Moth.

Hmm. I'm going to move this back to Euclea delphinii based on the statements of range mentioned by Robin below. Obviously, this could be placed at the genus level as an alternative. For this sort of thing, I prefer to place it at a plausible species level, and this discussion will certainly document the uncertainties.

Moved from Spiny Oak-Slug Moth--to new guide, based on comment below.

ID seems iffy to me
I couldn't find any indication on the Internet that nanina occurs farther north than South Carolina. The lone specimen in the NC State collection was not taken locally. Your photo looks similar to this one from Georgia, and this one from Pennsylvania.

Also see discussion here and comments on the Euclea and delphinii pages.

As I've stated before, you will not find much info on nanina at this time, as there simply isn't much at all. The angle of the moth does make for a slightly more difficult ID, however, it matches very well with all of the nanina in my Limacodidae drawer.

Also, I have quite a few specimens of nanina from my area just south of latitude 34 degrees, and a few specimens from southern TN near latitude 36 degrees. I see no reason nanina could not be in NC. I still believe this is probably nanina, but I say place it where everyone is most comfortable with.

A quandry
Oh my, that is a puzzle. This specimen was from the vicinity of a Piedmont deciduous forest, if habitat is of any interest. When I see a range from SC through the Southeast to Texas, I think of a coastal plain species. Any ideas if there is a habitat difference between the two?

Maybe I'll move this to the genus level--I don't know. I will look for these this summer and see if I can get any definitive photographs and/or specimens.

Maybe you could do a short photographic series of your collection with some comments on ID--that would be helpful for the Guide.

Most of my Euclea specimens have been collected in my local area, which is piedmont deciduous and deciduous/coniferous mix. I've also nabbed a few from S. Georgia in the coastal plain area.

I have thought seriously about doing a photo series of my collection (not just my Limacodidae drawers, but ALL my Lep drawers). I think if I do it, I'll probably do it outside of BG and just link to it, simply due to the shear volume of specimens to be photo'd.

But one problem with these little guys, is that my current camera just can't handle their small size. The photos just look really bad. It seems once I get down to a 30mm specimen or smaller, the quality drops rapidly, and even more so once I get smaller than 25mm. The built in macro mode isn't bad for most Leps, but I'm thinking about getting an adapter and macro lens to try out. I have plans to design a new light stage for the tiny guys to see if it will help, but I suspect I'll just have to buy the supplemental macro lens ... or a new and better camera.

In my opinion this is E. nanina. The shape and proportionate size of the green areas are indicative of nanina.

Marked as male
I checked male for this one because of the wider antennae and flared abdomen. Compare to my female:

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