Thursday, August 20, 2009


Even though I have never posted about Noctuidae, I have several specimens - and this is the newest. Turns out it is a rather distinct, easily identifiable specimen - its copper-pink-orange hind wings are diagnostic of one or two Copper Underwing species. There is some disagreement. Many sources identify a second Copper Underwing as A. berbera. A. berbera and A. pyramidoides are very similar in appearance, but A. pyramidoides is found primarily on the east coasts of the US whereas A. berbera is common on the west coast. Also, A. berbera has a more uniform color on the hindwing, while A. pyramidoides has a dark margin. and a pale center The subfamily Amphipyrinae is not extremely diverse, containing only one genus Amphipyra, and four or five species: A. berbera (?), A. brunneoatra, A. glabella, A. pyramidoides, and A. tragoponiginis. It used to be a larger subfamily, but the other genera were transferred to Hadeninae and Noctuinae. The genus Amphipyra feeds on leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs, including Sycamore Maple, Oak, and Willow. It is most commonly seen at night from July-September.

Lepidoptera; Noctuoidea; Noctuidae; Amphipyrinae; Amphipyra berbera / Amphipyra pyramidoides
Common Name: Svensson's Copper Underwing

The family Noctuidae, or Owlet Moths, are medium-sized, bulky moths with mottled brown-gray colorations. They are common across the US and are the largest family of Lepidoptera, with at least 4,200 genera. The adults feed on nectar and sugary compounds, flying mostly at night. The larvae inhabit a variety of environments. Some, the "cutworms" inhabit soil and feed on plant roots, proving to be pests. Others are unusual in their ability to feed on plants containing normally toxic chemicals, like Solanaceae, the family of flowering plants that includes nightshade, tomatoes, and tobacco.

1 comment:

  1. Aha! You referenced a plant family! And the image seems to be non-existent...