Semioscopis inornata

Inornate Flatbody Moth
Semioscopis inornata

POHL: 42-0128
MONA: 0914
GenBank: 687133

Head: Brownish-gray, mixed with varying amounts of white. Nose cone (palpi) long, reaching to back of head; whitish with brown streaks and stripes.
Antenna: Reaching to mid-wing. Base (scape) short, dark. Segments grayish-yellow, the first 1/3 of segments striped (annulated) with white.
Thorax: Brownish-gray, mixed with varying amounts of white. Dark tuft at mid-thorax.
Wings: Yellowish-brown to grayish-white, heavily to lightly speckled with dark brown. None of the speckles are well-defined. Speckles darker along outer (costal) edge and around wing tip; two streaks of darker speckles across wing and the 1/3 and 2/3 area. Also at 2/3 of wing a white spot above dark speckles, sometimes very faded. Fringe whitish, with a darker line through the fringe just before tips. Hindwing grayish-white, fringe pale.
Legs: Grayish-white, streaked and spotted with brown. Feet striped brown and white.
Abdomen: Gray, tinged with brownish-yellow. Male tip has yellowish tuft. Underside whitish-yellow with faint grayish line at each side.

Similar Species: Most of the individuals in Ontario are consistently dark. Some very light individuals can be confused with Semioscopis megamicrella which flies at the same time, but has well-defined dark markings on lower wing area.

Size: 10 to 15 mm long. Wingspan 25 to 33 mm.

Habitat: Wet forests, lowlands, streambanks.

Food: Poplar Populus and Willow Salix.

Flight Time: Mar to May

Life Cycle: One of the first moths to appear in the spring. Females lay eggs on budding leaves and twigs of Poplar and Willow. Larvae are leafrollers and probably spend the winter in cocoon stage on the ground (per Hodges 1974). Caterpillar (20 mm.) is light green, thick and flat with a wide, pale head. No black marks.

Comments: Ontario per Pohl (2018). Essex County.

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

Machimia tentoriferella

Gold-striped Leaftier Moth
Machimia tentoriferella

POHL: 42-0257
MONA: 0951
GenBank: 691653

Head: Cream-coloured. Nose cone (palpi) very long, extending to back of head; cream, 2nd joint has black scales on outside.
Antenna: Reaching to mid-wing. Base (scape) short, creamy. Segments creamy, mixed with brownish-gray.
Thorax: Light yellowish-brown, faintly speckled with dark brown. Sometimes thorax has a slightly reddish to pinkish tinge. Dark line across tip of thorax.
Wings: Light yellowish brown, faintly speckled with dark brown; sometimes with a lightly reddish to pinkish tinge. A tiny dark dash at wing base on outer (costa) edge, barely visible. A dark double spot, sometimes joined, at center of base 1/3 of wing. Another slightly slanted dash at 2/3 wing.  A diffuse dark speckled patch or a small spot with dark speckles on inner margin at mid-wing. Dark thick line or a series of large, blended spots follow contours of wing tip. The area between these spots and tip often darker – both the line and darker area often very faded in older individuals. Wing tip margin also has a series of small dark dots.  Fringe colour same as wing, longer on inner margin.
Hindwing per literature: pale grayish brown; yellowish, irrorate with fuscous; lightly infuscated; fuscous with reddish cast – pick one.
Legs: Yellowish, covered with dark brownish scales, except tips of segments. Hind foot pale yellowish.
Abdomen: Flattened, yellowish-brown, streaked with black.

Similar Species: Twirler Moth Gerdana caritella and Psilocorsis reflexella  both have darker head and thorax.

Size: 11 to 13 mm. Wingspan 20 to 26 mm.

Habitat: Deciduous forests.

Food: Feeds on a wide variety of deciduous trees: ash, elm, maple, hazel, hickory; fruit trees cherry, apple.

Flight Time: Late August to late September

Life Cycle: Assumed females lay eggs on twigs; eggs over-winter, since adults are never seen in spring. Larvae (12 mm. long) found in June and July. They roll the underside of leaves lengthwise and silk them closed in a tube-like formation, feeding on the leaf edges at night. Moving to a new leaf, it will devour the silk from the old leaf first. Caterpillars are green, with a large, shiny green head. Mature larvae have a double lighter green stripe each side of center, down length of abdomen. Pupa shiny, dark reddish brown is formed inside the leaf roll in July to early August. Adults found on tree trunks; attracted to lights.

Comments: Ontario per Pohl (2018). Essex County.

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

Ethmia zelleriella

Zeller’s Ethmia Moth
Ethmia zelleriella

POHL: 42-0199
MONA: 0992
GenBank: 687038

Head: White with a black spot at back of head, as all Ethmia. Nose cone (palpi) curves past top of head. 2nd segment is black with a white tip. Last segment is white, sometimes with a fleck or two of black scales.
Antenna: Long, reaching almost to wing tip. Base (scape) white with black tip. Antenna segments grayish, sometimes with white on first few segments.
Thorax: White with 4 to 6 spots along outer border.
Wings: White. Inner half of wings with large black spots. Outer half of wings with black streaks and some black scale shading along outer (costal) margin – can be difficult to see. Wing tip has a series of 8 to 9 black spots. Fringe white. Hindwings white, slightly more brownish near tip. Fringe white.
Legs: Main ID: Fairly bright, straw yellow with black stripes on front and middle feet.
Abdomen: Straw yellow. Male has tuft at tip.

Similar Species: Four Ethmia in Ontario:
Ethmia bipunctella has wings longitudinally entirely white on inner half i.e. down the back with wings closed; outer half entirely black.
Ethmia monticola has wings longitudinally entirely white on inner half, with a thin black line along inner border. Outer half white with black streaks and spots. Black lines in a fan shaped contour before wing tip.
Ethmia longimaculella is almost identical to Ethmia zelleriella, but has less streaks, no dark scaling on outer (costal) edge which is difficult to see and legs are white, not yellow. Feet white striped with black.
Ermine Moths Yponomeuta  are white with black spots also. They have no streaks, only spots.

Size: 10 to 11 mm long.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Miami Mist Phacelia purshii

Flight Time: May to June

Life Cycle: Larva feed exposed on leaves of Miami Mist Phacelia in May. Overwinters as a pupa and adults emerge the following May. Larvae has black and gray head. Shield yellow with two large black spots on top. Next two segments completely black. Yellow stripe down middle with off-set black spots. Side grayish-black. A yellow waved stripe above feet. Tip of abdomen black. Front (thoracic) feet black; those on abdomen white.

Comments: Rare in Ontario. Essex County.

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

Depressaria depressana

Purple Carrot-seed Moth
Depressaria depressana

POHL: 42-0156
MONA: 0924.1
GenBank: 470869

Identification: Introduced from Europe in Ontario per Landry in 2008.
Head: Creamy white, including nose cone (palpi). Palpi curved past top of head. Tips pointed, sometimes brownish on older individuals.
Antenna: Brown.
Thorax: Entirely creamy white, very wide (covering wing base (tegulae)).
Wings: Brown to reddish-brown infused with gray and sometimes a few white scales. Fringe pale brownish. Hindwings pale gray yellowish-brown. Fringe yellowish-gray.
Legs: Brown, covered with cream scales. Thighs (femora) wide. Feet usually striped.
Abdomen: Shiny, pale ash gray.

Similar Species: Depressaria alienella  is similar, but has a small, obvious white dot at mid-wing, and dark streaks. Thorax is narrow. Fringe lighter than wings.

Size: 7 to 9 mm long. Wingspan 14 to 17 mm.

Habitat: Meadows, roadsides and field edges.

Food: Carrot Family Apiaceae. Mainly Queen Anne’s Lace Daucus carota, also coriander, dill, carrot, anise, fennel, caraway, cumin, celery, parsley and parsnip.

Flight Time: July to Oct.

Life Cycle: Adults over-winter. Larva grey, sometimes with whitish spots. Head and shield black. Legs black. Larvae prefer to feed on flowers and unripened seed of host plants.

Comments: Found throughout Ontario.

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

Agonopterix pulvipennella

Feather-duster Moth
Agonopterix pulvipennella

POHL: 42-0079
MONA: 0867
GenBank: 262441

Head: Top of head deep reddish-brown; face whitish. Nose cone (palpi) long, curved up over head; reddish, rough brush-like on underside, pale yellowish on top side, last segment yellow and brown striped. Tips sharp, dark.
Antenna: Dark brown to gray. Base segment longer, scaled on underside.
Thorax: Dark brown or light brown, speckled with dark scales.
Wings: Two forms. Dark brown or light brown speckled with dark scales. Base of wings usually paler. A medium sized dark brown, squarish patch at centre of mid-wing has a small bright white dot at the lower inside corner. On lighter individuals, two dark spots above the squarish patch; on dark individuals, black central patch is barely visible. Outer (costal) edge of wing is marked with dark brown bars. Fringe reddish-brown. Hindwings pale gray. Fringe lighter, with a dark line along wing edges.
Legs: Brown, intermittently covered with white scales. Segment tips usually whitish, sometimes tinged with pink.
Abdomen: Top of abdomen grayish-yellow. Underside whitish with black lines and two rows of spots.

Size: 8 to 11 mm long. Wingspan 18-24 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges and meadows.

Food: Boneset Eupatorium, Goldenrod Solidago and Nettles Urtica (one report).

Flight Time: April to June; again in September to October.

Life Cycle: Adults over-winter. Females lay eggs in late spring on Boneset and Goldenrod. Larvae roll leaves length-wise. Pupate in summer. Pupa reported to be hairy. Emerge as adults again in the fall. Caterpillar entirely green, abdomen tip edged in brown; sometimes with 3 darker lines. Head has brown marks; shield has brown dots at sides. One generation per year. Adults attracted to diffuse light. Often seen on screen doors rather than at moth lights.

Comments: Common in Ontario.

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

Agonopterix pteleae

Hoptree Leafroller
Agonopterix pteleae

POHL: 42-0077
MONA: 0865
GenBank: 262442

Head: Dark reddish-yellow, face yellowish-silver. Nose cone (palpi) long, curved up to head, light yellowish, darker on underside. 2nd segment wider in middle; last segment yellowish with dark spot before tips.
Antenna: Dark brownish-black.
Thorax: Dark reddish-yellow, but not as reddish as head; covered with brown and black speckles (scales); tip black.
Wings: Unmistakable rough, raised hair-like scales over wings (may be absent on over-wintered moths). Forewings light yellowish-brown, with patchy, mottled black and dark brown rough, raised scales. Base more whitish-yellow, outer border lined with brown. Large, rounded spot at 2/3 wing length (discal cell), covers from outer margin to center of wing. No white scales. Series of uneven dark dots and marks along costa and wing tip. Fringe yellowish-brown. Hindwing yellowish-brown, base and fringe lighter.
Legs: Brownish-yellow, with black streaks and rings.
Abdomen: Light yellowish-brown, underside has two longitudinal rows of black dots.

Similar Species: The other Hoptree Agonopterix costimacula is grayish-brown and has a white spot at 2/3 wing length (discal spot) with a distinct black ring around the white; smooth scaled without any raised scales.

Size: 10 to 12 mm long. Wingspan 20-22 mm.

Habitat: Forest edges with sandy soils, lake shores.

Food: Hoptree Ptelea trifoliata.

Flight Time: Late May to early September.

Life Cycle: Larvae of A. pteleae and A. costimacula both feed on Hoptree Ptelea trifoliata. Both are pale green with no black markings or pinacula (dark spots bearing hair) on the body, but may have a blackish mark on side of head (absent to prominent). The border around the spiracles of A. pteleae are brown. The border around the spiracles of A. costimacula are black. Both species over-winter as adults, with at least two generations or more per year.

Comments: Considered a pest at Point Pelee with outbreaks of  “tens of thousands” every 5 years – 2005, 2010, 2015, per Harris at Pt. Pelee. Many wasps and ants are attracted to their honeydew.

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

Agonopterix alstroemeriana

Poison Hemlock Moth
Agonopterix alstroemeriana

POHL: 42-0087
MONA: 0874.1
GenBank: 1869417

Identification: European. First recorded in the New York in 1973.
Head: Head white. Nose cone (palpi) long, curving past top of head; mottled with brown and white. Tips sharply pointed.
Antenna: Thick, dark brown, reaching to beyond mid-wing.
Thorax: White; light brown raised tuft at tip.
Wings: Base of wings white, white continuing down outer (costa) margin to mid-wing, somewhat checkered with brown. Rest of wing mottled light to medium brown with some white scaling, and with a large dark patch at mid-wing, extending from outer margin to center of wing. Patch is blackish, with a brick red area along the inner margin of patch. Two small dark spots above the patch and 3 dark spots along wing tip. Fringe light brown, with a darker brown line along wing margin. Hindwing gray-white.
Legs: Light brown covered with white scales. Legs striped.

Size: 8 to 10 mm long. Wingspan 17 to 19 mm.

Habitat: Field edges, roadsides, waste places.

Food: Poison Hemlock plant Conium maculatum introduced from Europe in the 1800’s.

Flight Time: April to August.

Life Cycle: Females lay eggs on their only food plant Poison Hemlock. Larva web leaves into a tube, or sometimes webs around the flowers. Caterpillar yellow, then turning pale green with darker lines and black dots when mature. Head yellowish. Pupate in late spring to early summer. Adults overwinter; attracted to lights.
Predator: Mason Wasp Euodynerus foraminatus provision its nests with the larvae.

Comments: Ontario (Pohl 2018). Essex County.

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