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Sprague's Pygarctica (Pygarctia spraguei)

Need a main photo for this animal


Overview

There is no overview information available for that species.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Sprague's Pygarctica (Pygarctia spraguei). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.


Documented locations of Pygarctia spraguei in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/N
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY
WWAP SGCN

Species guidance


Note: a species guidance document is not available at this time. Information below was originally presented as part of the Online Field Guide to Rare Lepidoptera: Bogs and Barrens.

Identification: A somewhat smaller than average Arctiid moth having smooth gray forewings edged with orange along the leading edge and inner margin. The hindwings are gray like the forewings but unmarked. The abdomen is orange with a dorsal row of black spots. Collect and submit specimen to a specialist for verification. Wingspan: 35-39 mm. Length of forewing: 17-19 mm. Larvae bear tufts of hair with black bases from pale warts. Hairs are outwardly pinkish-gray but blackish on the middorsum. The skin is pale green shaded with pale orange at the sides and with faint dark dorsal and subspiracular lines. Head and prolegs pale reddish. The cocoon consists of silk and hair mixed with earth (Forbes 1960).

Similar Species: The milkweed tiger moth (Euchaetes egle) has unmarked gray forewings and a yellow abdomen.

Habitat: Pine barrens and oak savanna in Wisconsin.

Nectar Source: The tongue is reduced in the Arctiidae indicating the adults likely do not feed.

Host Plant: Euphorbia species. Adults have been found in sites with flowering spurge (Euphorbia corollata) in Wisconsin.

Associated Species: The Notodontid moth, Hyparpax aurora, usually occurs with P. spraguei in Wisconsin but is somewhat more widespread.

State Distribution: Columbia, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, Monroe and Wood counties.

Global Distribution: Northwestern Indiana, into Wisconsin and Michigan, west to Colorado and south to Texas. A localized species, not recorded in some states within its range.

Rationale for Species Listing and Threats: Habitat loss due to woody species and forest encroachment. Burning of barrens habitat. The overwintering larvae or pupae are unprotected and may be vulnerable to fire. Indiscriminate application of biocides for gypsy moth control may also be detrimental.

Phenology: Adults are usually present during the first three weeks of June.

Life and Natural History: Univoltine. It is uncertain whether overwintering occurs as a larva or pupa. Pupation occurs at the surface of the ground (Forbes 1960). A remnant-dependent species (Panzer et al 1995).

Survey Guidelines: Adults are attracted to blacklight at night. New county records should be documented with voucher specimens. Moths are attracted to blacklight if weather conditions permit moth activity. In general, a temperature in the low 50's F or higher at dusk is necessary for successful sampling. Cloudy, humid conditions (even a light drizzle) with little or no moonlight are most desirable.

Inventory, Monitoring and Research Needs: Locate additional populations and verify the hostplant in Wisconsin.

Management Guidelines: If sites are managed by prescribed burning, they should be divided into several burn units leaving the majority of the site unburned in a given season.

Photos/Video

No additional photos are available for Sprague's Pygarctica at this time. Please consider donating a photo to the Natural Heritage Conservation program.


Last revised: Thursday, May 04, 2017