||Hugh D. McGuinness
Family: Loopers, Span Worms, Inch Worms, Geometer Moths (Geometridae)
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
Did you know?
This species belongs to a group of moths that are usually cryptically colored, meaning that their coloring makes them blend in with the surrounding environment and be invisible to predators. These moths are typically gray with darker gray mottling so they are camouflaged while resting on tree trunks.
|State Ranking Justification||
New York State has only one record for this species in the dwarf pine barrens on Long Island. Covell (1984) reports this species as uncommon to rare throughout its range. The food source is purported to be members of the Myricaceae family of plants (wax-myrtle family). This plant family includes sweetgale, sweet-fern and bayberry. These plants are found in many locations in New York, so the potential for more habitat is high.
This species appears to be very rare but relatively stable over the past decade. The presence of this species over multiple years at the dwarf pine barrens indicates that the population is viable and reproducing. In 2005, this species was only found in locations that burned during the 1995 forest fire.
The numbers of the Projecta Gray on Long Island have declined from historical numbers due to habitat loss from development and the suppression of fires.