Orthosia rubescens - (Walker, 1865)
Ruby Quaker Moth
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.110704
Element Code: IILEYJM110
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Other Moths
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Noctuidae Orthosia
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Hodges, R.W. et al., eds. 1983. Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico. E.W. Classey Limited and The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, London. 284 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B83HOD01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Orthosia rubescens
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 31May2002
Global Status Last Changed: 31May2002
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: NNR
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNR

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Arkansas (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Pennsylvania (SNR), Vermont (SNR)
Canada Ontario (SNR)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Map unavailable!:
Distribution data for U.S. states and Canadian provinces is known to be incomplete or has not been reviewed for this taxon.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AR, IN, PA, VT
Canada ON

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Forest, Woodland and Scrub Noctuidae

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: An occurrence where the species occurs or has occurred with potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a collection (generally must be an adult) associated with suitable habitat. Photodocumentation except from spread specimens is strongly discouraged but sometimes will suffice High quality occurrences will occupy at least hundreds of hectares and in some areas EOs often cover tens of thousands of hectares. Where forests are fragmented the metapopulation concept probably applies, similarly if the foodplant is very unevenly distributed within a large forest.
Mapping Guidance: General habitat boundaries will sometime suffice for mapping, especially for conifer feeders. When plausible combine populations in proximate fragments as one metapopulation. See habitat and food comments fields and/or ask local experts for species-specific habitat information. Be particularly careful with pine feeding ZALE species which may be species-specific. Note that many of conifer feeders such as FERALIA, PANTHEA and pine feeding ZALE do not wander far from their hostplants. In general then is the densitiy of pines (or other appropriate conifers) drops below about five per hectare in mixed forests such parts are probably best not mapped as habitat for these moths except over short distancs between more suitable patches.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 4 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 20 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: If the habitat is occurring patchily within an extensive overall wooded landscape consider all patches within half the suitable habitat separation distance of at least one other as one metapopulation occurrence. However apply the unsuitable habitat distance across cleared lands.
Separation Justification: Published data are virtually non-existent but there are extensive anecdotal observations or experiences of collectors. First habitats are almost always either vacant or essentially fully occupied. Several authors report migratory average sized noctuids as moving 10 m per second or faster and even half that would be 18 km per hour, surely a conservative distance within suitable habitats--but roughly an hour's flight distance seems like a reasonable cap. The unsuitable habitat distance is more arbitrary but reflects the general perception that moths tend to stay in habitat but on the other hand few Noctuidae should need even half an hour to cross such a small distance. Also Schweitzer has marked and released over 700 EUPSILIA and a few dozen LITHOPHANE in early spring when their life expectancy was still another four to ten weeks and after 26 hours recapture rates fell to less than 0.2%. Sargent and colleagues rarely recaptured CATOCALA moths released from their light traps. While CATOCALA are in other Specs Groups most are forest noctuids. Also Schweitzer has often noted that if all individuals of Xylenini or ZALE are collected from a bait trail each evening, the numbers still tend increase for at least five nights if the weather holds--it is well known bait trails improve with use. Such observations imply very open population structure and wide ranging moths. Moths assigned to this Specs Group are moderately to very strong fliers and with few exceptions (mainly PSAPHIDINAE and FERALIA) they feed and probably normally live between a week and a month as adults. Xylenini live more like two to seven months but the long lived ones are inactive much of that time. Species in this Specs Group feed on common to dominant forest trees or understory shrubs or common understory herbs and apparently are not much more localized within their habitats than their foodplants are. They commonly turn up in marginal habitats but uncommonly to never more than a few dozen to a hundred or so meters from woodland or scrub of some kind. That is these moths are normally widespread to landscape level species within extensive habitats even though they do not often wander far from woods. Some are very generalized in terms of habitat and few require much beyond adequate foodplants and probably tree cover. They can confidently be expected to occupy whatever habitat is available (Schweitzer >30 Xylenini and >50 other of species, especially ZALE and ACRONICTA, e.g. using multiple trap sites in their habitat). Occurrences occupying much more than 1000 hectares vary from frequent to normal and for most species some in New Jersey appear to far exceed 10,000 hectares. It is not clear what would be the minimum size patch capable of sustaining an occurrence, but probably a few tens or hundreds of hectares for many. These are normally species of large habitats and do move around and colonize or persist in somewhat fragmented patches. Both distances are arbitrary. In general two kilometers across more or less treeless terrain or residential or urban areas with some trees but not the foodplants or other essential features should provide substantial separation. The suitable habitat distance is far more problematic and assumed to be too low. Still some arbitrary cap is needed in extensively wooded places like parts of New England, southern new Jersey and Appalachia. Suitable habitat generally includes marginal habitats, but for species that feed solely on pines or other confiers do not treat as suitable habitat areas (forested or otherwise) where the foodplant occurs at less than three mature trees per hectare.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Inferred extent, for example based on one specimens in a light trap, is all suitable habitat within two kilometers of the collection point. If the habitat is more extensive than that there is almost no chance the resulting 1000 hectare circle will close to contain the entire occurrence. However when data are minimal conservative assumptions are warranted.
Date: 04Dec2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Notes: Care has been taken not to include species that would likely violate any of the distances given, especially inferred extent. Herminiine, smaller "deltoids" and some other small weak fliers are not included in this group. This group is mostly for noctuids that are either polyphagous or feed on a dominant, codominant, or at least frequent foodplant. It may not be appropriate for species feeding on grasses, forbs, shrubs or even tree that tend to occur as localized, well separated patches within a forest, although if such patches are fairly frequent they should work (see Alternate Separation Procudure).
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Hodges, R.W. et al., eds. 1983. Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico. E.W. Classey Limited and The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, London. 284 pp.

  • Lafontaine, J.D. and B. C. Schmidt. 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico. ZooKeys 40:1-239.

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