Plants and Animals

Sympistis viriditincta Green-spotted sympistis

Key Characteristics

This medium-sized moth is dark olive grey-green with a wingspan of 3.0 cm. The forewings have small white markings along the costa. Prominent round white orbicular spots help identify this species.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: GNR - Not ranked
State Rank: SNR - Not ranked

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed

Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

This moth is likely found in dry prairies and barrens. The host plants are unknown.

Natural Community Types

  • Unknown

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Management Recommendations

Lack of scientific knowledge about its life history is an obvious threat. Studies to determine the habitat requirements of this species are needed to inform management recommendations.

Active Period

Flight from first week of August to fourth week of September

Survey Methods

Adults are nocturnal and come to light and are also attracted to bait. There is likely a single annual brood in Michigan, with peak flight in August and September. The larvae are undescribed and the larval host plant is unknown. It may possibly occur throughout Michigan, but surveys are needed to determine its status. The best way to survey for this species is by blacklighting, a technique where a sheet is stretched across two trees or poles and an ultraviolet light is used to attract moths to the sheet. Moths can be collected directly from the sheet. Insects come to light usually in largest numbers on still, dark, cloudy nights when both temperature and humidity are high. It is strongly recommended that observations of this species be verified through actual specimen vouchers and verification by a species expert.

Blacklighting

Survey Period: From first week of August to fourth week of September

Time of Day: Night
Humidity: Humid
Cloud Cover: Overcast
Air Temperature: Above 60 degrees
Wind: No Wind
Survey Method Comment: Here we present ideal conditions, however surveys can be conducted during other conditions as well.

References

Survey References

  • Covell, C. A Field Guide to the Moths of Eastern North America. Peterson Field Guide Series, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA. 496 pp.
  • Martin, J.E.H. 1977. The Insects and Arachnids of Canada (Part 1): Collecting, preparing, and preserving insects, mites, and spiders. Publication 1643. Biosystematics Research Institute, Ottawa.

Technical References