Nemoria elfa Ferguson, 1969
NatureServe Global Rank: G?
Virginia State Rank: S1S3
VA DGIF Tier: None
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The Elfin Emerald is small with a 20mm wingspan. They are usually pale green, with a whitish hue. There are white am and pm lines that are slightly undulating and continue from the front onto the back wings. These lines are edged in darker green towards the outside of the am line and the inside of the pm line. There are black spots near the middle of the wing on each wing. The body of the moth is the same shade of green as the wings. The Elfin Emerald also has a darker color form, with reddish-brown, brick or even rust colored wings. Otherwise, the traits are the same as above, replacing the green with the reddish-brown. There are also intermediates between the two.
Similar species: A large number of moths in the genus Nemoria look very similar to this species. Most of them contain white lines that are less undulated or even straight. Nemoria lixaria is a species often found in Virginia and also contains undulating lines, but is usually larger and contains red-edged whitish spots on the abdomen. A couple Synchlora species that are found in Virginia are also similar with wavy lines, but do not contain the black spots and have light colored veins.
North American Range: It is mostly a southeastern species that ranges from Delaware west to Kentucky, south to Texas and Florida. In Virginia, it has been documented in Lee County.
VA Observations by Locality: Lee
Flight season and broods: There are two or more generations. The exact flight season is presently not documented.
Habitat and Food Plants: The main food source is Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum), but oaks (Quercus sp.) have also been used as well as Sweet Gum (Liquidambar stryaciflua) and Blueberry (Vaccinium sp.), to a lesser extent.
Behavior and Ecology: Presently not documented.
Population trend and potential threats: Population trends and threats are not understood at this time.
Management practices: Populations should be monitored and habitats preserved.
References: Friends' Central School Lepidoptera Research: http://ourfcs.friendscentral.org/moths/nemoria_elfa.htm Accessed: 18Apr2013
Moth Photographers Group at the Mississippi Entomological Museum at Mississippi State University. Web application at: http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/large_map.php?hodges=7029 Accessed: 17Apr2013
NatureServe. 2011. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. (Accessed: September 21, 2012).
Wagner, D. L. 2005. Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 512pp.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219
This atlas was compiled
by the VA Natural Heritage Program with funds provided by the VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries through a state wildlife grant
from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Last Modified: Tuesday, 24 January 2017, 10:12:03 PM