Elophila icciusalis

Pondside Pyralid Moth
Elophila icciusalis

POHL: 80-0724
MONA: 4748
GenBank: 721901

Head: White. Palpi short, white; slightly scaled on underside; curved upward, barely reaching to top of head.
Antenna: Pale yellow, reaching to about mid wing.
Thorax: Variable, mostly white with small brownish-yellow marks or a stripe across lower thorax.
Wings: Light brownish-yellow with white spots and dark streaks, the white areas outlined, at least on one side with dark brown lines. A white circle at mid wing touching inner margin, surrounded with dark brown. Fringe unevenly checkered with dark brown and white.
Hindwing similar, white bar at center, bordered with dark brown on both sides. Fringe same as forewing.
Legs: Very pale yellow with shiny white scales.
Abdomen: Yellowish-white, striped with brownish-yellow. Tip can be light or dark. Male tip has some hairs, but not a noticeable tuft.

Similar Species: Nymphula Moth Elophila ekthlipsis has much brighter and larger white spots with a darker brownish-yellow background on wings.

Size: 8 to 15 mm long. Wingspan 16 to 26 mm.

Habitat: Ponds, marshes, swamps, bogs.

Food: Aquatic: Floating Pondweed Potamogeton natans is preferred. Also Buckbean Menyanthes, Duckweed Lemna species, Eelgrass Vallisneria and Sedges Cyperaceae that grow in water.

Flight Time: June to end of August

Life Cycle: Females lay curved rows of whitish eggs (20 to 70) on the underside edge of Pondweed leaves. They do not lay on lilies. Eggs hatch in about 10 days. 1st instar larvae create a moveable case made of 2 pieces of leaf; larvae remain on the underside of the leaf. Larvae are translucent whitish to grayish with a dark head and shield. New cases are made as larvae grow, and pupation takes place inside a case lined with silk and attached to a submerged stem. Adults attracted to lights, also day-flying.

Comments: Common. Essex County – Point Pelee and Ojibway. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Holcocephala calva

Robber Fly
Holcocephala calva

GenBank: 468736

Head: Very wide. Upper head dark brown. Back of had gray pile. Huge “goggle-like” bronze eyes. Head in profile very thin. Lower face has a few white hairs, no mustache (mystax).
Antenna: Brown, Y-shaped, base very short, last segment long.
Thorax: Dark brown pile with some vague grayish spots and streaks. Sides and underside of thorax whitish-gray. Segment 2 (scutellum) whitish-gray pile.
Wings: Entirely brownish, long, narrow. Halteres dark.
Legs: Dark brown with some white hair. Tips of segments darker. Front feet darker.
Abdomen: Brownish, lower margins of segments have a line of grayish pile. First 2 segments narrower than other. Female abdomen wider than male. Underside grayish.

Similar Species: Overall, H. calva is brown; H. abdominalis is yellow and red with shorter, wider wings, red legs and yellowish thorax.

Size: 8 to 9 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and sand meadows. Cedar savanna on forested dunes in Lambton County.

Food: Smaller insects.

Flight Time: June to August

Life Cycle: Unknown

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. First recorded for Canada in 1999 from north Lambton County by Skevington.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Efferia albibarbis

Sand Fly-Hawk Robber Fly
Efferia albibarbis


GenBank: none

Head: Entirely with white pile and hair. Mustache (mystax) white, may have a few black bristles.
Antenna: Black, appears Y-shaped. Base (1st segment) thick, 2nd segment has a long bristle. 1 and 2 combined are same length as last segment.
Thorax: Brownish; no black stripes. Shoulders (humeri) slightly grayish, and along lower border of segment. Segment 2 (scutellum) grayish. Thorax sides same, or slightly lighter in female. May have some grayish pile.
Wings: Wings transparent (hyaline), outer edge (costal) more yellowish on female. Veins brown.
Legs: Thighs (femora) black with scattered whitish pile. Shins (tibiae) red to pale orange, black tips on female and pale yellow, black tips on male. Hind shin about ½ red-orange or yellow. Front and mid foot mixed reddish and black with black bristles. Hind foot black.
Abdomen:Male: Segment 1 gray, segments 2, 3 and 4 black with sides and lower margin white. Segments 5 and 6 white. Large bulbous tip black. Underside white with some long white hair.
Female: Segment 1 gray, segments 2 to 6 black with sides and lower margin white. Underside brownish. Ovipositor black, considered short, cone-shaped.

Similar Species: Both the male and female Efferia aestuans have an obvious pair of black stripes on thorax and bright yellow toes (foot pads or pulvilli). Male has 3 white segments (not 2) near abdomen tip. Female has very long, thin ovipositor (not cone-shaped).

Size: 16 to 19 mm.

Habitat: Prefers sandy beaches with dune grass. Sandy meadows near forest edge. In Ontario, only found along Lake Erie and Huron shoreline and inland.

Food: Grasshoppers, Flies and Wasps. Will also eat other Robber Flies.

Flight Time: June and July

Life Cycle: Females lay eggs (about 20) in sand. Larvae food is unknown, but have been found in soils infested with white grubs. Pupate in late May and emerge as adults in June and July. Adults frequently found flattened and quiet, blending in with the warm sand in cooler weather. Prey usually captured in mid-air. Males tackle females for mating in mid-air and then drop to the ground.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park; Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park; Lambton County.
DNA samples submitted to GenBank from Canada (B.C.) suppressed. Other samples from U.S.A. that have a GenBank reference number are missing at GenBank. GenBank has no taxonomic number for Efferia albibarbis.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Dioctria hyalipennis

Robber Fly
Dioctria hyalipennis

GenBank: 468722

Identification: From England, introduced to Boston, Mass. area around 1916.
Head: Upper head and top of head shiny black. Lower face has silvery-white pile. Mustache (mystax) white. Proboscis short, black.
Antenna: Appears Y-shaped, segments about equal in length. Black with short black hair.
Thorax: Obvious neck. Thorax raised or humped; black with  two long indented lines and a faint covering of light yellow pile. Segment 2 (scutellum) small with a line of yellow pile at base. Thorax sides have a wide stripe of whitish pollen extending down to front leg.
Wings: Wings hyaline, but appear darker when folded over body. Veins brown. Halteres light yellow.
Legs: Front and middle legs mostly yellow with black streaks, tips dark; feet black with gray pile and yellow spines and toes. Hind legs black; 1st foot segment swollen.
Abdomen: Abdomen black, shining. Lower margin of segments have a thin whitish line. First 4 male segments very narrow and constricted (appear wavy); last segments gradually widen to tip. Female abdomen flat on top side, rounded and orange on underside; much wider and thicker than male, but shorter.

Similar Species: Eudioctria albius has a shiny, plain thorax and all dark legs.

Size: 10 to 14 mm.

Habitat: Meadows, forest and field edges with large shrubs and Cedar trees.

Food: Adults feed on mostly small parasitic wasps and bees like Lasioglossum and Hylaeus. Also reported feeding on small flies Diptera and pygmy grasshoppers Tetrigidae.

Flight Time: June to July in Ontario

Life Cycle: Unknown

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies, Windsor; very common in Wheatley. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Widespread in Ontario.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Cyrtopogon falto

Robber Fly
Cyrtopogon falto

GenBank: 1890837

Head: Brown, wider than thorax. Top of head gray, shiny. Back of head black. Eyes large, widely separated, brownish pile between. Silvery around antenna bases. Moustache (mystax) thick, golden hairs (thinner on female), edged with black. Beard (under face) white, thick.
Antenna: Long, Y-shaped; each segment equal length. Entirely black, base hairy.
Thorax: Black, shiny, with black hair. Brownish-yellow pile in vague longitudinal stripes; some pile around edges of thorax. Segment 2 (scutellum) black, shiny with faint brownish-yellow pile along base. Sides of thorax yellowish-gray pile, with a shiny bare spot near wing base.
Wings: Base yellowish, tips slightly grayish; rest clear. Neither male or female have clouded or dark spots on wings. Veins black. Halteres yellowish-white.
Legs: Thighs (femora) black, shiny; white hair at base and underside. Shins (tibiae) base ½ or less reddish-yellow; rest black; bright golden yellow to white pile on underside. Feet 1st segment reddish-yellow, rest black; bright golden yellow to white pile on underside.  Toes yellow, black tips.
Abdomen: Black,  shiny with white pile marks on lower margin of segment sides 2 to 5 or 6. Female tip has black spines.

Similar Species: Cyrtopogon bimacula has shins (tibiae) red or yellow, except tip black and feet (tarsi) mostly red. C. bimacula  male has large dark spot on wings. C. falto has no more than base half of shin red or yellow, and feet mostly black. No dark spots on wings.

Size: 12 to 17 mm long

Habitat: Forest edges, prefers pine. Meadows with sandy soil.

Food: Adults feed on a wide variety of insects like mosquitoes, flower flies and smaller robber flies.

Flight Time: Mid-May to August (peaks in June).

Life Cycle: Females lay eggs in soil – prefers sandy soils. Feeding habits of larvae unknown.

Comments: Ontario – Essex County, Ojibway Prairies, Windsor. Generally a more northern species; along Georgian Bay, N. Lambton County and Algonquin Provincial Park. In Ohio.
DNA samples from BOLD suppressed at GenBank: Cyrtopogon falto, C. bimacula and C. vulneratus.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Cerotainia albipilosa

Robber Fly
Cerotainia albipilosa

GenBank: 468706

Area between eyes (frons) and top of head (vertex) very wide. Upper face and top of head has silvery grayish-white pile. Eyes greenish.
Antenna: Antenna long and dark. First joint 4 times as long as second.
Thorax: Thorax black and shiny with curved (recumbent) silvery-white hair. Sides also with silvery-white hair.
Wings: Wings dark.  Halteres reddish-yellow.
Legs: Upper legs dark with white hair. Lower legs (tibia) and feet yellowish-brown to reddish with silvery-white, curved hairs and very short bristles.
Abdomen: Shiny. Male with rather long thick white pubescence on top and sides of abdomen; underside brownish-red with brown pile. Female abdomen hair is black on top, sides white; underside white hair.

Similar Species: Cerotainia macrocera has obvious brownish-yellow hair on upper face, male has black hair on thorax and abdomen, not white. Both sexes of C. albipilosa have silvery white hair on upper face.
Atomosia puella has much longer legs with longer spines, clear wings, and a very narrow space between the eyes.

Size: 7 to 8 mm.

Habitat: Meadows, prefers grasses and weeds and often perches on tips of leaves and grass blades.

Food: Predators of small, usually flying insects.

Flight Time: Mid-June to mid-September.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies species list, 2008. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park species list Oct., 2009. Lambton County.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

At the Point

Danaus plexippus

Danaus plexippus


June 19 and 21, 2018.

A Monarch Danaus plexippus laying an egg on Swamp or Red Milkweed on the underside of a leaf. Another egg laid on Common Milkweed right in the budding flowers. A late arrival to the garden.

At Point Pelee National Park on June 21st  a mature caterpillar was found feeding on milkweed flowers, so they must have arrived at least by May 20th at the Point.


Melittia cucurbitae

Squash Vine Borer
Melittia cucurbitae

POHL: 64-0081
MONA: 2536
GenBank: 655047

Identification: Wasp-like.
Head: Top of head dark bronze-black. Eyes orange. Nose cone (palpi) orange, white on underside.
Antenna: Black. Males have row of hairs on one side (pectinate), antenna appear thicker.
Thorax: Dark bronze-black with white tuft a side edges.
Wings: Forewing bronze-black; fringe thick sometimes slightly lighter in colour. Hindwing transparent, veins and fringe brown.
Legs: Black with orange and black scaling. Hind legs thickly covered with orange and black hair. Front foot black, mid and hind feet striped.
Abdomen: Colour can vary from yellow to orange. Segments 1 and 2 black. Segment 3 orange. Other segments mostly orange with a large black dot at center of segment. Male abdomen usually has last 2 segments dark, with pointed hair tuft. Female tip bluntly rounded, usually red. Underside orange-yellow.

Size: 14 to 16 mm long. Wingspan 25 to 32 mm.

Habitat: Gardens and meadows.

Food: Adults often found on milkweed blossoms and flowering garden herbs. Larvae feed on squashes, pumpkin, zucchini, gourds. Sometimes on cucumber and watermelon.

Flight Time: Late June to August.

Life Cycle: Reddish-brown, somewhat flattened, very tiny eggs laid on crown root to 1 foot above on stems, on leaf stalks, leaves and fruit buds. Larva bores into plant stems and feed on juices, leaving a sawdust trail. Mature larvae burrow 25 to 50 mm into the soil and over-winter, pupating in the spring in the same tunnel. Larvae appear grub-like, but with legs – 3 pair on thorax and 5 pair on abdomen. Mature larvae are 25 mm long, white with a dark head. Adults are day flyers. One generation per year in Ontario.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies; Pelee Island. Common in Ontario.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Carmenta pyralidiformis

Boneset Clearwing Borer
Carmenta pyralidiformis

POHL: 64-0155
MONA: 2608
GenBank: None

Head: Brown-black. Nose cone (palpi) orangish-yellow, tip black. Orange-yellow stripe across back of head.
Antenna: Long, reaching to mid-wing. Black, thickening toward tips on male. Tips curved and pointed on both male and female.
Thorax: Brown-black with 2 yellow longitudinal lines, one at each side.
Wings: Forewing brown-black entirely on female. Male may have a thin yellow streak before mid-wing  and some yellow streaks near wing tip. Hindwing transparent with wide black border and fringe.
Legs: Dark with various amounts of yellowish to whitish scaling. Male has hind shin (tibiae) yellow. Feet pale.
Abdomen: Abdomen brown-black. Fourth segment has a wide, bright yellow band. Male also has a narrow band on last segment. Female tip entirely black, brush-like with a square tip. Male tip pointed, sometimes with yellow fringe at each side.

Size: 5 to 11 mm long. Wingspan 12 to 23 mm. Females large, males small.

Habitat: Moist to wet areas, stream and river banks, ditches. Also along railway lines or gravelly areas.

Food: Adults feed on flower nectar. Larvae feed in lower stems and roots of Common Boneset Eupatorium perfoliatum growing in damp places, and Tall Throughwort Eupatorium altissimum which is native only to Pelee Island and inventive, usually along railway lines and gravelly soil in the rest of Ontario. Tall Throughwort is listed as S1 (endangered) in Ontario. Larvae do not feed on Joe-Pye Weeds Eutrochium purpureum and E. maculatum, previously named Eupatorium.

Flight Time: August to mid-September.

Life Cycle: Females deposit light yellow, oblong eggs on the underside of Boneset leaves usually near the base of the plant. Larvae drill into the leaf stem, then into the main plant stem, forming tunnels down to the root crown. Over-winters as a half-grown larvae in the tunnels. Mature larvae are 14 mm long, dirty white, head light brown, bi-lobed, slightly hairy. Shield and legs brown. The next spring, they move up the tunnels and create an exit hole, then pupate in the tunnel (20 days). They emerge as adults in early morning and mate within an hour. One generation per year.

Comments: Rare. Listed for Ontario, but only 2 other individuals found: BugGuide from Hastings, near Peterborough and Karwatha Lakes by Lake Simcoe. Essex County – Wheatley in 2014 only.
DNA problems. BOLD had 2 samples ‘suppressed’ by GenBank although Carmenta pyralidiformis is unique – the only Clearwing Borer with one wide yellow band on abdomen.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Alcathoe caudata

Clematis Clearwing
Alcathoe caudata

POHL: 64-0172
MONA: 2623
GenBank: 1029665 tentative

Identification: Note: Colours are variable.
Head: Black. Nose cone (palpi) bright orangish-yellow, reaching to top of head. Darker orangish-yellow stripe entirely across back of head.
Antenna: Bright orangish-yellow. Long, reaching to mid-wing. Males may have some black scaling on top side, from base to almost mid-length of antenna.
Thorax: Reddish to purplish-black. Male thorax may have some orange tuft-like scaling.
Wings: Male forewing reddish to purplish-black, may have streaked, transparent area before middle of the wing, absent on worn individuals.
Female forewing entirely reddish to purplish-black.
Both have hindwings transparent with reddish to purplish-black borders and a thick mark across wing.

Legs: Male: Bright yellow to orangish. Thighs (femora) with thick black scaling on top side. Hind shin has patch of black hairs. Hind foot (tarsi) has tuft of orange scales at base. Worn individuals have legs almost entirely pale yellow.
Female: Thighs (femora) black; middle and hind shin (tibiae) black. Rest of legs and feet yellow to orangish. Front foot has tuft of black at base, absent in worn individuals.
Abdomen: Reddish to purplish-black on both sexes. Female has black, squarish tuft at abdomen tip. Male has black tuft each side of abdomen tip and a bright yellow to orangish tail which is as long as the abdomen.

Size: 10 to 15 mm long. Wingspan 20 to 32 mm.

Habitat: Wet forests, streambanks with Virgin’s Bower (also called Woodbine).

Food: Adults feed on flower nectar, mostly the host plant flowers. Larva feed on the roots and stems of Virgin’s Bower Clematis virginiana.

Flight Time: July and August

Life Cycle: Females lay eggs on our only native Clematis, Virgin’s Bower Clematis virginiana. Females are reported to lay eggs at the root of the plant, but photographs show the female laying eggs on the underside of leaves. Larvae feed in the roots near the soil surface, or in the larger plant stems that reach the ground. Larvae 14 mm long, dull white with 2 rows of tiny brown dots; brownish head and legs. Shield is light brown with 2 oblong, slanted dark brown spots, almost joined at bottom. Pupates in a silken mass mixed with debris and over-winters. Chrysalis formed inside cocoon is spined and helps the moth move to surface of root or stem to emerge in July. One generation per year. Reports of feeding on Currant Ribes are in error. All Alcathoe species or sub-species feed only on Clematis.

Comments: Rare. Essex County – Wheatley per photos. Also recorded in Toronto and Belleville area. Two specimens in the Canadian National Collection (CNC). Note: DNA problems. See next page.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Albuna fraxini

Virginia Creeper Clearwing
Albuna fraxini

POHL: 64-0070
MONA: 2532
GenBank: None

Head: Black. Nose cone (palpi) reaches to top of eyes; entirely black on female; some yellow on underside on male.
Antenna: White; base grayish-black, variable, sometimes covering up to half of the antenna; tips black, curved.
Thorax: Black with various amounts of whitish scale. Usually more defined as lines on the male.
Wings: Female front wings entirely shiny black with a reddish-orange dash at 2/3 wing length (discal cell). Male front wing transparent, except for a black patch before the red dash and a black patch at wing tip. Hind wings transparent with a black border and fringe. A black line at end of discal cell.
Legs: Black. Front legs have thick black fringe and pale yellow feet (tarsi).
Abdomen: Black with white tuft each side of first segment. Bands, if any, are faint whitish. Male has large, fan-shaped tuft at tip (not at side edges), sometimes divided. Female has a black tuft each side of abdomen tip.

Similar Species: Some Synanthedon have white on the antennae, but are more stout bodied and without the red dash in discal cell.

Size: About 18 mm long. Wingspan 24 to 27 mm.

Habitat: Deciduous forests and forest edges.

Food: Adults feed on flower nectar. Larvae feed on all Ash trees Fraxinus species; Virginia Creeper Ampelopsis quinquefolia and hybrids like Boston Ivy.

Flight Time: June to August.

Life Cycle: The larva feed on roots at ground level or several inches below. Pupation takes place within the larval galleries. One generation per year. Larvae yellowish; head mottled brown with a black band across the face.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies. Across southern Ontario.
Note: DNA species testing at BOLD on Albuna fraxini do not have corresponding GenBank numbers, and Albuna fraxini is not listed at GenBank.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Schreckensteinia erythriella

Bristle-legged Moth
Schreckensteinia erythriella

POHL: 50-0001
MONA: 2507
GenBank: 1888670

Head: Metallic brassy gray, slightly coppery depending on light. Nose cone (palpi) short, yellowish; tip dark.
Antenna: Short, not reaching mid-wing. Bronzy gray.
Thorax: Collar dark. Thorax wide, extending over wing bases; metallic brassy gray. Each side extension, plus the longer tip of thorax proper are rounded. Thorax tip lighter in colour, sometimes almost white.
Wings: Long, narrow with sharp pointed tips, extending well past abdomen. Metallic brassy gray, slightly coppery depending on light. A faint lighter line along the inner margin from tip of thorax to tip of abdomen. Fringe brownish-gray. Hind-wings more reddish-gray, fringe very long, same colour. Some reports that one sex is lighter coloured than the other.
Legs: Reddish-brown to light gray with some yellowish-white scaling, especially on thighs (femora). Hind shin (tibiae) has two sets of very long spines. Spines sometimes break off. Moth usually rests with hind legs elevated.
Abdomen: Short; same colour as wings.

Similar Species: Our only other Schreckensteinia festaliella has cream stripes on the wings.

Size: 5 to 6 mm long. 10 to 12 mm wing span

Habitat: Forest edges, dry meadows with sumac.

Food: Adults only found on Fleabane Erigeron, Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia and Flattop Goldenrod Euthamia graminifolia. Larvae feed on buds and fruit of Sumac Rhus.

Flight Time: May to August.

Life Cycle: Two generations per year. Adults day-flying and also attracted to lights at night. Larvae: dark green with a pale brown head. Abdominal legs thin, short; prolegs thin and long. Reddish frass. Pupates inside a loosely woven mesh or lace cocoon.

Comments: Rare. 2 from Toronto area in Aug, 2012 and May 2013. Guelph in Aug, 2010. More common in Essex County.

Synonyms: Clemens 1860
Chrysocorys erythriella
Note: Curtis in 1833 first used the name Chrysocorys in Entomologist Magazine, Vol. 1, later decided it was a synonym of Schreckensteinia by Hubner.

Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1860 by Clemens, Vol. 12, pp. 171 to 172.
Entomologische Zeitung, 1876, Vol. 37 by Frey & Boll, pp. 214 to 215.
United States Dept. Agriculture, 5th Report Entomological Commission, 1890, Bulletin #7 by Packard, pg. 665.
Tineina of North America, 1872 by Clemens, pp. 132 to 133: Same as original description.
Illinois Biological Monographs, 1915, Vol. 2 #1 by Fracker.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1923, Memoir #68 by Forbes, pp. 357 to 360.

Holotype as Chrysocoris erythriella by Clemens, 1860. Type Locality: probably Pennsylvania. In the Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Clemens Type #91.

Tarache aprica

Exposed Bird-dropping Moth
Tarache aprica

POHL: 93-1343
MONA: 9136
GenBank: 319976

Identification: Male and female are different.
Head: Black. Nose cone (palpi) very short, tip white.
Antenna: Reaches to near mid-wing; brown, sometimes with some white scaling.
Thorax: White, with varying amounts of grayish at center of thorax. Female usually has base of thorax with a narrow stripe of grayish to brown.
Female: Dark brown, mottled with white, more so at base and tip. On outer margin (costa), a large white, squarish patch about mid-wing which has a black spot in one corner; a second, slightly smaller, white triangular patch at 2/3 wing length. Small black dot (orbicular) mid-wing. Fringe grayish, sometimes with small area of white fringe near anal angle.
Hindwing white at base, becoming grayish with a dark mark near center.

Male: White from base to mid-wing (may have some light gray shading). Black square-like area on last half of wings has right-angle or “step-down” progression to wing tip. Large, black reniform spot between steps. Outer margin (costal) base half has a gray to brownish patch. Another gray to brownish patch below the reniform spot (sometimes connected to spot). Small black dot (orbicular) mid-wing. Wing tips dark. Fringe grayish, sometimes with small area of white fringe near anal angle.
Hindwing white, grayish along outer margin.
Legs: Dark, all joints have white tips. Wide white stripe on thigh (femur). Legs appear striped.
Abdomen: White to whitish-yellow.

Similar Species: Males are similar to the Olive-shaded Bird Dropping Moth Ponometia candefacta which has the black (reniform) spot surrounded on 3 sides with dark; on T. aprica only 2 sides of the spot have a black area next to it. P. candefacta has wing tip white, on T. aprica it is dark.

Size: About 12 to 14 mm long. Wingspan 22 to 29 mm.

Habitat: Damp meadows, marshes, field edges.

Food: Larvae feed on Hollyhocks Althaea rosea and Hibiscus; both flowers and leaves.

Flight Time: May to September.

Life Cycle:Two generations per year. Adults attracted to lights. Larva is a looper, green to brown. Similar to the Small Bird-dropping Moth Ponometia erastrioides, except for a large brown spot on abdominal segment 1. Spiracles are black, surrounded with white. To 30 mm. long.
Note: The Curve-lined Tarache terminimaculata (also in Ontario) larva may also feed on Hollyhocks and Hibiscus as well as basswood.

Comments: Rare in Ontario. Two others found in Essex County – Beadle in Leamington, 2012 and Jenniskens in Harrow. One recorded from London in 1899. The Canadian National Collection (CNC) has a female from Chatham, no date.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Ponometia erastrioides

Small Bird-dropping Moth
Ponometia erastrioides

POHL: 93-1319
MONA: 9095
GenBank: 214371

Identification: Also called Small Bird-lime Moth.
Head: Head and nose cone (palpi) brown, back of head white.
Antenna: Light brownish-yellow; segments reach past mid-wing.
Thorax: White.
Wings: White with an irregular black, somewhat triangular patch which does not reach outer (costal) margin, or tip of wing. Outer margin has about 5 greyish marks. A tiny dark dot near wing base. Wing tip has dark dashes along border. Fringe white, slightly yellowish at tips, and sometimes with scattered patches of gray. Hindwing grayish to yellowish-white, faint line at margin; fringe white.
Legs: Brown, covered with white scale. Feet striped.
Abdomen: Creamy to brownish-white. Male tuft yellowish.

Similar Species: Olive-shaded Bird-dropping Moth Ponometia candefacta has large brown spot (reniform), surrounded with white on lower wing, and a large, brown diagonal stripe reaching wing tip at outer (costal) edge.  P. erastrioides has outer wing margin entirely white, except for the faint gray marks.

Size: 8 to 10 mm long. Wingspan 16 to 20 mm.

Habitat: Field edges, meadows, open areas.

Food: Adults nectar on a variety of flowers. Larvae feed on Ragweed Ambrosia and Burdock Arctium.

Flight Time: May to August.

Life Cycle: Three generations per year. Larvae is a looper, light brown and black; head, thorax and feed black. Feeds with P. candefacta. Feints death or vomits a green fluid if disturbed. Over-winters as a pupa, no cocoon. Adults day-flying and attracted to lights at night.

Comments: Widespread in Ontario. Common in Essex County, listed for Point Pelee.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page