stout spanworm moth

(Lycia ursaria)

stout spanworm moth
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  Hodges #

6651

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Stout spanworm moth is a medium-sized, broad-winged, very hairy, typical geometer moth. It occurs in the northern United States and southern Canada from coast to coast. Its distribution is patchy and it is common at some locations (locally common).

Adults have a wingspan of 13 16 to 1¾ (30 to 45 mm). Males have plume-like antennae and broad wings. Females have thread-like antennae. Their wings are smaller than the male’s and they cannot fly. The thorax and abdomen are extremely hairy. The forewing is gray with fine black speckling (peppery); black antemedial (AM), median, and postmedial (PM) lines; and a white subterminal line. The hindwing is similar but the markings are muted.

The caterpillar is up to 19 16 (4 cm) long and, as the common name suggests, is stout. It is pinkish and has many fine, wavy, longitudinal, black stripes. It has yellow breathing pores (spiracles); yellow, round warts above the spiracles (supraspiracular area); and yellow, dash-like warts above on each side (subdorsal area). The legs and the head are reddish.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Wingspan: 13 16 to 1¾ (30 to 45 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Deciduous and mixed woodlands

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation per year: Early April to late May

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Males are active at night and will come to lights. Females cannot fly. Wings are held flat when at rest.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Eggs are laid under bark. The pupa overwinters.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Leaves of deciduous trees and woody plants, including alder, apple, ash, basswood, birch, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, dogwood, elm, hawthorn, maple, poplar, and willow.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

21, 24, 29, 30, 75.

 
  11/10/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Locally common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Geometroidea (geometrid and swallowtail moths)  
 

Family

Geometridae (geometer moths)  
 

Subfamily

Ennominae (typical geometers)  
 

Tribe

Bistonini  
 

Genus

Lycia  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

stout spanworm

stout spanworm moth

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Antemedial line

A thin line separating the basal area and the median area of the forewing of Lepidoptera.

 

Spiracle

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

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    stout spanworm moth   stout spanworm moth  
           
 
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  Alfredo Colon
Summer 2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

stout spanworm moth  
           
 
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Created: 11/10/2019

Last Updated:

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