New York Natural Heritage Program
Coastal Barrens Buckmoth
Hemileuca maia ssp. 5
Insects

Threats [-]
Threats include destruction of habitat due to development and fire suppression, which may become a problem after several decades (NatureServe 2010). Insecticide spraying might also be a threat. In addition, the Coastal Barrens Buckmoth was assessed to be moderately vulnerable to climate change, meaning that its abundance and/or range extent within its current geographical area in New York State is likely to decrease by 2050 as a result of climate change. Factors that may increase its vulnerability to climate change include its physiological thermal niche, physiological hydrological niche, physical habitat, and diet (Schlesinger et al. 2011).

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices [-]
Maintaining habitat is the main management need. Periodic controlled burns or mechanical removal of vegetation are needed to maintain most of the natural communities that the Coastal Barrens Buckmoth inhabits. It is good practice to not burn entire habitats at once. Habitats should be burned in patches, always with some unburned areas left as refugia for species (Wagner et al. 2003). However, it is possible that the Coastal Barrens Buckmoth maintains a reserve of diapausing (dormant) pupae in the soil, enabling populations to survive fires (NatureServe 2010).

Research Needs [-]
Additional inventory and monitoring is needed, particularly at the few unchecked potential sites, mostly scattered barrens remnants on Long Island. The Coastal Barrens Buckmoth flies during the day and can be captured by netting with butterfly nets. In addition, males can be attracted to bait from caged females, larvae can be easily observed on scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia) and other shrubby vegetation, and eggs can be observed on twigs of scrub oak and other shrubby vegetation from the fall until the spring.