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Species Mocis marcida - Withered Mocis - Hodges#8744

 Withered Mocis Moth - Hodges #8744 - Mocis marcida Withered Mocis - Hodges#8744 - Mocis marcida Withered Mocis Moth - Mocis marcida Mocis	marcida 	Withered Mocis Moth  - Mocis marcida Mocis marcida Withered Mocis - Mocis marcida moth sp. - Mocis marcida Withered Mocis? - Mocis marcida
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Erebinae
Tribe Euclidiini
Genus Mocis
Species marcida (Withered Mocis - Hodges#8744)
Hodges Number
8744
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Mocis marcida (Guenée, 1852)
Remigia marcida Guenée, 1852
M. perlata (Walker, 1858)
* Phylogenetic sequence #930943
Numbers
One of 5 species in this genus in North America.(1)
Size
Wingspan about 47 mm, based on two photos by Jim Vargo at MPG.
Larvae to 45 mm.(2)
Identification
Adult: forewing usually purplish-brown (sometimes yellowish-brown or pale gray) with darker shading in subterminal area, and usually paler shading in terminal area; lines thin, distinct at close range but showing little contrast against ground color and therefore not noticeable at a distance; PM line bulges inward just above inner margin but the bulge is faint, giving the illusion that the PM line stops before reaching the inner margin; subterminal line a series of black dots; hindwing yellowish-brown or orangish-brown with diffuse grayish shading distally, and dark PM and terminal lines.

Larva: Mocis species are recognized by intersegmental dorsal black spots between A1-A2 and A2-A3 (but concealed in fold when larva is at rest); prolegs lacking on A3 and A4; body yellowish-brown with broad chocolate subdorsal and subventral stripes; wide yellowish-brown lateral area often divided by narrow dark brown stripe running through spiracles from T1 to A8; head pale brown with numerous fine stripes and contrasting white lines
[adapted from description by Wagner et al, who say that Mocis larvae cannot be reliably identified to species]
Range
Coastal North Carolina to Florida, west to Texas, rarely straying northward as far as New York. (3), (4)
Moth Photographers Group - large range map with some collection dates.
Habitat
Fields, marshes, grasslands, and other open grassy areas.
Season
Adults fly from April to November, or all year in southern Florida and Texas.
Peak numbers from July to October in Florida. (5)
larvae from late May onward, or all year in the far south
Food
Larvae feed on grasses. (2)
Life Cycle
Multiple generations per year.
Remarks
"Unlike most catocaline larvae, Mocis caterpillars do not wriggle violently when accosted, but rather simply drop to the ground--a habit shared by many grass feeders--where their coloration blends in with dead, withered grass blades." [David Wagner et al]
See Also

Adults of other Mocis species have a PM line that continues straight to the inner margin of the forewing (compare pinned adult photos of other species by Jim Vargo at MPG)
Mocis caterpillars may be confused with those of Caenurgia, Caenurgina, and Ptichodis
Print References
Covell, p. 170 (6)
Guenée, 1852. Noct. 3: 317. (7)
Hampson, G.F. 1913. Catalogue of the Lepidoptera Phalænæ in the British Museum. 82.
Internet References
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society - large photo of pinned adult.
pinned adult images (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
presence in New York; list (Timothy McCabe, Olive Natural Heritage Society, New York)
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .
2.Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2011. Princeton University Press.
3.Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Florida
4.Moths of Brackenridge Field Laboratory University of Texas at Austin
5. Trapping Mocis spp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) adults with different attractants
Robert L. Meagher, Paul Mislevy. 2005. Florida Entomologist 88(4): 424-430.
6.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
7. Histoire naturelle des insectes. Spécies général des lépidoptères. Vol. 7. Noctuélites, tome 3.
Achille Guenée & Jean Baptiste Boisduval. 1852. Roret, Paris, 441 pp.