sigmoid prominent

(Clostera albosigma)

sigmoid prominent
Photo by David Israel
  Hodges #


Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure


not listed


Sigmoid prominent is a medium-sized, heavy-bodied, nocturnal moth. It is the most common of the four Clostera species found in Minnesota. The species name albosigma means “white S” and refers to the prominent curved marking on the forewing. Spring individuals are darker with more highly contrasting markings. Summer individuals are paler and less conspicuously marked.

The top of the head, the collar, and the top of the thorax are dark brown. The rest of the body is lighter grayish-brown. The male has a dark brown tuft at the tip of the abdomen.

The forewing is grayish-brown. The forewing is slightly concave on the costal (leading) margin and is rounded at the tip. It is crossed by four pale lines, the basal, antemedial, median, and postmedial lines. The antemedial and median lines are parallel and nearly straight. The median line is broken and does not reach the costal margin. The postmedial line is angled backward, forming a “V” with the median line at the inner margin, and forming a prominent white “S”-shaped bar approaching the costal margin. The white bar sharply delineates a dark reddish-brown or chestnut brown area. The cubitus (Cu) vein appears 3-branched.

The hindwing is nearly evenly grayish-brown without contrasting markings. The subcostal (Sc) vein and the anterior branch of the radius (R1) are fused together. The Sc+R1 and radial sector (Rs) are close together and parallel to at least the basal half of the anterior side of the discal cell then diverge.

The male antennae are comb-like with teeth-like structures on both sides. The female antennae are thread-like.

The caterpillar is stout and up to 13 16 long. It has a dark, proportionally large head, and there is usually a pale brown spot above the face (frons). The thorax and abdomen are yellowish-buff and covered with downy, pale hairs (seta). Between the first thoracic segment (T1) and the second abdominal segment (A2) there are four indistinct orange or yellow lines separated by even more indistinct charcoal lines. There is a black knob on A1 that is nearly twice as large as a similar knob on A8. There is a broad, dark gray subdorsal stripe and a broad orange spiracular stripe. Mature caterpillars are seen from May to November.




Total length: to ¾

Wingspan: 1 to 1½


Similar Species


Deciduous woodlands and forests, and shrubby wetlands and fields




Mid-May to mid-August. Probably two generations per year.




Adults are active at night and will come to lights. They rest with the wings folded tightly around the abdomen, which is raised into the air.

The caterpillar is a solitary feeder. During the day it curls up a leaf of a host plant and sticks it together with silk webbing, make a shelter where it can feed in safety. At night, it feeds in the open. Unlike all other prominents (Family Notodontidae), this species does not squirt acid as a defense.


Life Cycle


Given the long flying time for this species, there are probably two generations per year in Minnesota.

The pupa overwinters.


Larva Hosts


Mostly quaking aspen, but also poplar and willow, and sometimes alder, birch, maple, and elm.


Adult Food


Adults do not feed.


Distribution Map



21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 71, 75.







Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  


Noctuoidea (owlet moths and allies)  


Notodontidae (prominents)  







Ichthyura albosigma


Common Names


sigmoid prominent










Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.



The upper part of an insect’s face, roughly corresponding to the forehead.



A usually rigid bristle- or hair-like outgrowth on butterflies and moths used to sense touch. Plural: setae.



A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.






Visitor Photos

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David Israel


At bug light at 22:34

    sigmoid prominent   sigmoid prominent  

Bill Reynolds

  This first image it was trying to mimic a leaf and the second after I disturbed the moth from this side of the barn.   sigmoid prominent  
        sigmoid prominent  





Sigmoid Prominent - Hodges#7895 (Clostera albosigma)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Sigmoid Prominent - Hodges#7895 (Clostera albosigma)  



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Sigmoid Prominent Moth (Notodontidae: Clostera albosigma) Dorsal View
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Aug 6, 2011

Photographed at Red Wing, Minnesota (04 August 2011). Go here to see the lateral profile of this specimen:




Visitor Sightings

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  David Israel

Location: Woodside Township, Otter Tail County

At bug light at 22:34

sigmoid prominent  
  Bill Reynolds

Location: Pennington Co. Minnesota

This first image it was trying to mimic a leaf and the second after I disturbed the moth from this side of the barn.

sigmoid prominent  






Created 5/18/2017

Last Updated:

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