Acrolophus popeanella

Streaked Tubeworm Moth
Acrolophus popeanella

POHL: 30-0060
MONA: 00373
GenBank: 691622

Grayish to blackish-brown. Nose cone (palpi) hairy, blackish-brown on side edges, central part and tips light yellowish-brown to creamy yellow. Male nose cone curving over head and reaching to end of thorax. Female head light yellowish-brown and hairy nose cone short, directed outward, yellowish-brown.
Antenna: Yellowish-brown, reaching just past end of thorax. Male segments stout, knife-like (serrated) on underside.
Thorax: Medium-sized mane, dull dark brownish to brownish-gray, tipped with grayish-white on all edges. Female has no mane; thorax light brown to cream-colored with only a few darker spiked hairs.
Wings: Variable. Reddish-brown, but usually brown to dark brown. Main ID: Bright yellow to pale yellow streak from wing base, diagonally to inner margin just before wing tip. Streak is broken near inner margin end by a black spot or triangle. (Note: This black spot can become small with age, but it is always present on both male and female.) Often, parts of the yellow streak are outlined with dark brown which fades with age. Dark spot at 2/3 wing length (discal cell) with a short streak of yellow before and after the spot, often faded on both older males and females. Fringe mixed light and dark brown.
Variations: Very dark males often have white veins on last half of wing. Older males turn various colours of light brown to almost entirely pale yellowish. Females when fresh have the same markings as males. Older females become almost speckled, usually the yellow diagonal streak is still visible, but faded.
Hindwings grayish.
Legs: Light brown to tannish, with dark scales, especially on shins. Feet (tarsi) have each segment dark with tips light.
Abdomen: Grayish-black, much shorter than wings.

Similar Species: Aged females are similar to Acrolophus propinqua females, but have only a few dark spiked hairs on thorax. A. propinqua has fairly thick reddish-brown spiked thorax.

Size: 11 to 14 mm. long. Wingspan 24 to 30 mm.

Habitat: Meadows, forest edges.

Food: Clover roots – both white and red reported.

Flight Time: Mid-June to July in s. w. Ontario.

Life Cycle: Larvae tunnel into soil around clover roots. Tunnels are silk-lined. Over-winter as larvae and continue feeding the next spring. Pupate in tunnels in late spring.
Larvae about 17 mm long. Dark brownish-purple with raised spots. Head black, bordered with a brown line. Abdomen tip lighter colored.  Legs brown-black, long.

Comments: “New for Canada based on 1 record by KS” per Pohl et al. (2018). Assumed KS is Ken Stead in Lambton County, no date. Recorded in Wheatley 2011 to 2014, and Point Pelee National Park in 2018. Acrolophus popeanella is the most frequent Tubeworm at the moth light in Wheatley.

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