Furcula cinerea - (Walker, 1865)
Gray Furcula Moth
Other English Common Names: Grey Furcula
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.118368
Element Code: IILEY0C020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Notodontid Moths
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Notodontidae Furcula
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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: Furcula cinerea
Taxonomic Comments: Barcode divergences within nominal Furcula cinerea indicate that more than one species may be involved. The genus is in need of revision (Lafontaine and Schmidt 2010).
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Sep2000
Global Status Last Changed: 07Sep2000
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), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Alberta (SNR), 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, WY
Canada AB, ON

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Notodontidae

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where the species occurs, or has recently occurred, where there is potential for persistence or continued recurrence. Minimally a place where an adult or larva has be been verified associated with suitable habitat and foodplant. Verification standards vary by species and location but sight records should not be the basis for new EOs. A few species, most notably DATANA, are much easier to identify from specimens or photos of last instar larvae (see Forbes, 1948) than from adults. Wagner et al. (1997) and Wagner (2005) are also useful for larvae. Many species can be identified from either stage and except for some DATANA the larvae do not have to be last instars. Genitalia dissection will sometimes be necessary with single adult specimens or even small series and obviously for such species photographs are not acceptable.
Mapping Guidance: When possible base boundaries on vegetation structure, foodplant distribution in area or other known habitat features. See habitat and food comments fields for species-specific information on what constitutes habitat when mapping occurrences. Note in particular care must be taken for the few that specialize on tree or shrubs that are localized within large forests.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 20 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: When multiple habitat patches occur in a large community complex such as a barrens or savanna or in a landscape feature like a ridgeline or canyon, regard all as one metapopulation.
Separation Justification: There are no real data but experience generally suggests habitats are either fully occupied or vacant at least over periods of a few years and usually in every generation. Occurrences are usually hundreds of hectares to dozens of square kilometers. Occurrences even of globally rare species can be more than 10 kilometers in at least one dimension--at least in New Jersey. All of this argues for large separation distances within suitable habitat.
Adult males are powerful fliers but heavily laden females probably are not. Very few species feed as adults and so they probably do not live long. Individual movements are probably modest, a few kilometers or less. Long distance strays are virtually unknown. This suggests a short distance across unsuitable habitat.
Clearly some species recognize and respond to habitat features, for example all known occurrences of HETEROCAMPA VARIA in New Jersey are clearly mostly in the 500 to 10,000+ hectare range but strays of males out of habitat are rare and of females unknown even with potential foodplants (oaks) ubiquitous. DATANA RANAECEPS also rarely is found out of habitat there even though its foodplant is much more widespread and this moth seems absent from virtually all (dozens to few hundred hectare) habitat patches more than about 10 kilometers from the true pine barrens region in New Jersey. H. VARIA appears to be absent from the Willow Grove Lake Preserve in New Jersey even though there is a large population in nearby similar xeric oak woodland which would have been no more than about 10-20 kilometers separated originally, although more now. One does not usually find the forest species in residential areas more than a kilometers from woods. Females at least apparently do not cross unsuitable habitat often. Many species are very heavily egg laden and deposit eggs in rather large masses rather quickly after mating and so probably do not disperse them widely. Some CLOSTERA and DATANA are extreme examples but females of HETEROCAMPA sometimes and SCHIZURA probably always also lay eggs in masses, although often in more, smaller masses. This also supports short distances over unsuitable habitats.
Do not use the 2 kilometer distance with substantial (>100 hectare) occupied habitat patches separated by areas of marginal habitat.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Most Notodontidae are widespread woodland or forest moths and typically they are not localized within such places unless the foodplant is. For species where there is some understanding of what actually is suitable habitat, few if any, observations suggest consistent partial occupancy but as noted some do require certain vegetation features (often sparsely wooded to open scrub of some sort) in addition to foodplant. Notodontids seem to reliably occupy all available habitat where they are present at all, although they may of course be temporarily absent from patches within larger habitats (especially DATANA). This radius is certainly unrealistically low for most species in large expanses of habitat but some limit is needed. If the habitat does not appear to be a large scale forest or woodland type, do not use this radius. For example some DATANA and a few others do sometimes occur in small habitats, but in such cases these should be obvious based on the foodplant.
Date: 14Sep2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
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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