|Pine Barrens Zale
||Hugh D. McGuinness
Family: Owlet Moths (Noctuidae)
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
Did you know?
The word "zale" is Greek for wave. The person who originally named this genus, Hubner in 1818, thought the pattern on the wings of this moth resembled waves.
|State Ranking Justification||
The pine barrens zale is a habitat specialist, requiring a specific type of habitat- extensive scrub oak barrens areas. Presently, this species is known only from two locations on Long Island. Future inventories may locate this species at other pitch pine-scrub oak barren type habitats on Long Island and possibly off the coastal plain.
This species appears to be stable on Long Island. Surveys conducted since 1989 have indicated little change in the population, with the exception of the 2005 survey, which showed a dramatic increase in numbers of moths found. It is unclear what caused this sudden increase, but forest fires in the dwarf pine plains may have resulted in an increase in habitat for this species.
The long-term trend for this species in New York is unknown. However, it is tied to the long-term trend for the natural community it lives in. The acreage of dwarf pine plains in New York has declined from historical acreage due to development and suppression of fires.