Charles Henry Fernald.

The pterophoridae of North America online

. (page 5 of 7)
Online LibraryCharles Henry FernaldThe pterophoridae of North America → online text (page 5 of 7)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

straw color except at the outer end of the fissure above and below
where they are grayish. Hind wings pale cinereous ; fringes paler.

Habitat. California. Early stages and food plant unknown.

It differs from stramineus in having no costal streak.

Pterophorus sulphureodaclylus Pack., Ann. Lye. Nat Hist., N. Y.,

Vol. X., p. 266 (1873).
Lioptilus sulphureus Wlsm., Pter. Cal. and Ore., p. 48, Plate

III., fig. 7 (1880).

Expanse of wings, 25 mm. Head ochreous. Palpi whitish
yellow, streaked with ochreous; antennae long, yellowish, tinged


with fuscous. Thorax and abdomen sulphur yellow, streaked
with ochreous scales. Legs whitish ochreous, streaked with brown.

Fore wings with the first lobe produced into a very acute point,
the second lobe broad halberd-shaped, unspotted, clear sulphur
yellow, slightly tinged with brownish on the outer fourth of the
costa. A minute brown dot before the base of the fissure.
Fringes pale yellowish white, cinereous on the hind margin.
Hind wings whitish, thickly dusted with cinereous. Fringes

Habitat. California. Early stages and food plant unknown.

Leioptilus Mathewianus Zell., Lep. Westk. Am., p. 23 (1874).

Expanse of wings, 24 mm. Head brownish gray behind ; palpi
whitish gray ; antennae dust gray, faintly annulated on the basal
third with whitish. Thorax and abdomen whitish gray. Legs
light gray, all the femora and tibiae brownish ochre, lightest on
hind legs.

Fore wings pale reddish gray, sprinkled with black scales, es-
pecially on the margin. A diffuse brown dot on the cell, nearer
to the base of the wing than to the fissure. Before this is a more
distinct dot, variable in form and size, and sometimes a pale dot
at the base of the second lobe. A white longitudinal spot under
the first-named dot, and before the same. an almost pure white
stripe runs to the fold, where it widens and sends out a slender
line through the middle of the second lobe to its outer margin. A
dark-brown line bordered with white on each side runs to the dot
on the fissure, and a brown indistinct dot rests on the middle of
the first lobe ; two brown spots on the apex of the second lobe
and a short brown cross line at the base of the fringes of the outer
margin. Hind wings clear brownish gray, with a silky luster.

Habitat. Vancouver Island. Early stages and food plant un-


Leioptilus paleaceus Zell., Beitr., p. 126 (1873).

Lioptilus paleaceus Wlsm., Pter. Cal. and Ore., p. 41, Plate

III., fig. 2(1880).
Leioptilus sericidactylus Murtf., Am. Ent., Vol. III., p. 235


Expanse of wings, 21-25 mm. Head yellowish brown, pale
between the antennae; antennae whitish. Thorax dull yellowish
white. Abdomen dull yellowish, with fine longitudinal brownish


lines. Legs yellowish white, with fuscous shadings on the under

Fore wings very pale brownish gray, with a brownish spot be-
fore the fissue. Fringes concolorous with the lobes. Hind wings
of the same color as the fore wings. Fringes paler, except at the

Habitat. Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, California, Oregon.
Food, Iron Weed ( Vernonia noveboracensis) .

An examination of the genitalia of the types of paleaceus and
also of sericidactylus proves them to be identical.

"Larva. Length, 0.55 inch; diameter, 0.10 inch; form, sub-
cylindrical. Color when young, dingy white, with a tinge of
green, becoming at maturity pale glaucous, often varying, espe-
cially in the late fall brood, to dull salmon. Dorsal hairs proceed-
ing from prominent tubercles, and of two sizes in each tuft, each
of the shorter ones tipped with a minute pellucid bead of viscid
fluid, to which pollen and bits of leaves often adhere. Lateral
ridge well defined. Prolegs long and narrow. When mature, the
larva weaves a dense mat of silk, upon which it extends itself,
remaining quiescent for two or three days, the dorsal surface
acquiring, meanwhile, a translucent lilaceous hue, with three
greenish- white longitudinal stripes, of which the medio-dorsal is
most distinct and continuous.

* * Pupa, with ventral surface closely appressed to the mat of
silk, to which the anal hooks are firmly attached. An upright or
inverted horizontal position seems to be preferred, although there
is no thoracic band or other support for the anterior part of the

"Average length, 0.45; diameter, same as larva, tapering
rather abruptly from seventh abdominal segment backward. Wing
sheaths narrow, free at the blunt tips. Dorsum with prominent
subdorsal ridges. Color and markings quite variable. In the
spring brood commonly dull green, with indistinct lateral yellow
stripes. In the fall brood the dorsum is pale yellow or flesh color,
with two fine, indistinct, medio-dorsal lines of lilac color; sub-
dorsal ridge pale, inclining to lilac on outer side. In subdorsal
space are two nearly continuous, quite heavy, black or fuscous
lines, separated by a broad pale stripe, from two narrow, inter-
rupted dark lines, one beneath, the other above, the stigmata. On
the thorax the^dark stripes are represented by two slightly diverg-
ing dashes on each side. Situated in the subdorsal ridge, at the
posterior edge of each segment, are a pair of small, geminate,


piliferous warts, each bearing a sparse tuft of light sprangling
hairs. The last larval skin, rolled into a little hairy ball, is often
supported over the back of the chrysalis, raised above it on the
hairs of the sub-dorsal ridges. The pupa is quite active and
irritable, striking about in all directions when meddled with."


Pterophorus agraphodactylusWalk., Cat. Lep. Het., Vol. XXX.,

p. 94 (1864).
Lioptilus agraphodactylus Wlsm., Pter. Cal. and Ore., p. 46,

Plate III., fig. 6 (1880).

I have not seen this species, and therefore quote Lord Walsing-
ham's description :

" Head whitish in front, touched with brownish ochreous towards
the thorax and in front ; antennae whitish, browner beneath ; palpi
very short. Thorax yellowish white.

"Fore wings remarkably narrow, dirty white, with a faint
yellowish tinge, streaked longitudinally with faint slender lines of
brownish gray, apparently following the neuration ; the widest and
most conspicuous of these runs parallel to the costa from the base
of the wing to the middle of the anterior lobe, where it is diffused
in a faint shade towards the costa, sending two slender and
scarcely discernible lines to the apex and inner margin. There
are two slender brownish-gray lines on the dorsal half of the wing,
the upper one, coming from the base, passing below the cleft,
where it throws off a branch beneath and running along the upper
edge of the second lobe to its apex ; the lower coming also from
the base, and attaining the dorsal margin below the base of the
cleft. The costa pale ; the cilia tinged with gray. Hind wings
and fringes pale cinereous. Abdomen and legs slightly yellowish
white. Under side uniformly pale cinereous, except the costa and
the fringes of the anterior lobe within the fissure which are whitish.

" Expanse, 25 mm."

Habitat. St. Domingo, Southern Oregon. Early stages and
food plant unknown.


Lioptilus inconditus Wlsm., Pter. Cal. and Ore., p. 44, Plate III., fig. 5

Expanse of wings, 19 mm. Head pale brownish gray, paler
between the antennae ; palpi brownish gray ; antennae pubescent,


whitish, the basal segment enlarged and with a few erect scales on
its inner side; thorax and abdomen slightly tinged with yellowish.
Legs yellowish white.

Fore wings very pale brownish gray or bone color, without any
markings except faint traces of darker lines upon some of the
veins. Fringes slightly paler than the wings. Hind wings and
fringes very slightly darker, with a more decided cinereous tinge.
Under side of all the wings brownish gray, with the costal margin
of the fore wings slightly paler.

Habitat. California, Washington, D. C. Early stages and
food plant unknown.


Lioptilus tparvus Wlsm., Pter. Cal. and Ore., p. 55, Plate III., fig. 12

As I have no example of this species, I quote Lord Walsing-
ham's description :

" Head grayish white, a scarcely paler frontal tuft projecting
slightly above the long, well-clothed but sharply pointed palpi,
which are about twice the length of the head ; antennae pubescent,

" Fore wings cleft to scarcely one- third of their length, with no
posterior angle to the upper lobe, which is rather narrow, acu-
minate and appressed at the apex, dusty grayish, sprinkled with
fuscous scales, which form an elongate shade, extending from an
ill-defined antemedian fuscous dot to the base of the anterior and
to the apex of the posterior lobe ; a small fuscous dot lies imme-
diately before and slightly below the base of the fissure ; there is
a slight fuscous shade along the posterior margin of the upper
lobe, of which the costal portion is rather pale ochreous ; the costa
itself whitish. The cilia along the apical margin of both lobes are
grayish, spotted along their base with four or five groups of fus-
cous scales, of which one is at the extreme apex of the upper lobe.
The anal angle appears to be slightly more defined in the second
lobe of the fore wings, and the fissure rather wider at the base
than is usual in this genus. Hind wings cinereous. Abdomen
grayish white ; the legs whitish, first two pairs touched at the sides
with grayish fuscous. The first pair of spurs on the hinder tibiae
are unequal in length ; the second pair equal to the longest of the
other two.

" Expanse, 15 mm."

Habitat. California. Early stages and food plant unknown.


Lioptilus Kellicottn~Fish, Can. Ent, Vol. XTIL, p. 141 (1881).

Expanse of wings, 28-30 mm. Head ocbreous brown, whitish
between antennae. Palpi rather long and slender, second segment
with a small tuft of raised scales on the upper side at the extremity.
Antennae pale ochreous, brownish beneath ; thorax and abdomen
pale brownish ochreous, the latter striped longitudinally with pale
brown lines. Fore and middle legs brownish ochreous ; hind legs
whitish ochreous, tarsi paler.

Fore wings pale ochreous, dusted more or less with brownish
scales, which in some examples form longitudinal streaks on the
costa and basal half of the median space; a dark- brown dot on
the base of fissure ; two brown dashes on the costa near the apex,
one on the hind margin of first lobe near the apex, usually four at
the end of the second lobe on veins 2, 3, 4 and 5. Fringes con-
colorous. Hind wings, also under side of all the wings, cinereous
brown, with a silky lustre. Fringes darker.

Habitat. New York. Food, Solidago.

" The larva, when first examined, August 22, was .3 of an inch
long ; color light yellow, head and shield darker, the oblique anal
plate almost black, bearing hairs and hooks ; dorsal and subdorsal
lines pinkish. By the middle of September it abandons the
branches, being then .45 of an inch in length, and bores into the
stalk a few inches above the ground ; it makes its way down
the pith into the roots, well under the ground, where it passes the
winter. I fetched several examples from the fields in January for
examination; they were then .58 to .6 of an inch in length,
lighter in color, with the longitudinal lines of pink brighter than in
autumn, the eighth segment conspicuously marked on the back by
pink. There are few hairs over their smooth bodies ; on the last
ring, however, there is a brown or black chitinous disc, with a
circle of long brown hairs about its circumference; in the centre
of this disc there is a small papilla, with two stout, straight black
teeth, pointing rearwards ; these teeth are hooked upward in the
autumn stage. The hairs render the plate sensitive to touch, and
help to brush fragments from their long, narrow galleries, while the
teeth assist in backward motion in them. The mature larvae ob-
tained in May differ but slighty from these, except that they
are then .7 of an inch long, and the pink stripes and marks are
brownish. The fourth, fifth and sixth segments are smaller than


those preceding or following them. They are quite active, moving
up and down their burrows rapidly.

" By the middle of May the caterpillar has worked its way back
to the place of entrance in autumn, enlarging its way to accommo-
date its increased size, and, after loosely stopping the upper part
with a few chips, retires and changes to the pupa. It is then .6
of an inch in length, slender, cylindrical. Color white, except
the oblique disc or plate terminating the head, which is made dark
by many teeth-like elevations on its surface. The abdominal seg-
ments are clothed with hairs, and the last four segments have each
a transverse row of teeth on the dorsal part, reminding one of a
Tortrix or Cossus pupa. The conical tip of the abdomen has
many teeth ; these teeth, together with the roughness on the head,
enable the pupa to worm its way up and down the burrow with
readiness. When removed from the stem to the table, it travels
about, rolling and worming its way very much as do the pupae of
certain stem-boring beetles. The wing and limb covers are free
for a considerable distance from their tips." (Kellicott.)

Lioptilus grandis Fish, Can. Ent, Vol. XIIL, p. 141 (1881).

Expanse of wings, 34 mm. Head, palpi, antennae, thorax and
abdomen of nearly a uniform pale brownish-ochreous color. Legs
brownish ochreous, with tarsi somewhat lighter.

Fore wings pale brownish ochreous, in some species with a few
scattered faint brownish dots on the second lobe. Fringes slightly
darker. Hind wings very slightly browner than fore wings, with
the fringes still darker.

Habitat. California. Early stages and food plant unknown.


Expanse of wings, 29-31 mm. Head, thorax and fore wings
pale brownish white or bone color. Back of head and collar dull
cinnamon brown.

Fore wings more or less sprinkled with brown scales, especially
along the costa and on the outer half of the cell ; an oblique brown
line at the end of the cell extends upward in the direction of a
brown costal streak, between which and the apex are generally two
equidistant brown dots, and there is a similar one on the cleft
within the apex. Three brown dots occur on the outer margin pf
the second lobe, one on the apex, one on the middle and one on the
anal angle. Hind wings pale fuscous, darker than the fore wings.


Early stages and food plant unknown.

Described from seven examples taken in September, in Placer
County, California, and presented to the National Museum by the
late Dr. C. V. Riley, to whose memory I dedicate this species.


Alucita monodactyla Linn., Syst. Nat., Ed. X., Vol. I., p 542 (1758).
Pterophorus cineridactylus Fitch, N. Y. Rep., Vol. I., p. 848


Pterophorus ncevosidactylus Fitch, N. Y. Rep., Vol. I., p 849 (1854) .
Pterophorus pergracilidactylus Pack., Ann. Lye. N. Y., Vol. X.,

p. 265 (1873).
Pterophorus monodactylus Wlsm., Pter. Cal. and Ore., p. 39, Plate

II., fig. 16 ; Plate in., fig. 1 (1880).

Expanse of wings, 22-26 mm. Head and thorax pale gray,
sprinkled with brown scales. Palpi short, tipped with brown;
autennre grayish white, spotted with fuscous above. Abdomen
grayish ochreous, striped with fuscous and brown scales on the
sides ; a dorsal row of brown dots, one at the base of each seg-
ment. Legs grayish, with the joints enlarged and covered with
brownish hairs ; a tuft of scales near the middle of the hind tarsi
on the side opposite the spurs.

Fore wings varying from pale grayish to pale reddish brown,
often mixed with white and sometimes with a few black scales ;
stripes or streaks of dark brown or blackish scales on the costa
"and hind margin; before the fissure a brown spot, sometimes
tapering to a point toward the base ; an elongated spot of brown
scales on the costa, half-way between the latter and the apex, with
two smaller ones between it and the apex ; one or more small
blackish dots on one or both lobes near the apex. Fringes gray-
ish, tinged with fuscous on the outer third of fissure. Hind wings
gray or fuscous, with a silky lustre ; fringes slightly darker.

This species is exceedingly variable both in color and markings,
some examples being very light with but few spots, while others
are reddish brown.

Habitat. Europe ; Maine to California. Food, Convolvulus se-
ptum. Convolvulus arvensis, Chenopodium album, Atriplex patula.

" Larva. Length, when at rest, about five-eighths of an inch,
and stout in proportion. Head polished and rather small, nar-
rower than the second segment. Body uniform and cylindrical,
tapering a little posteriorly. Segmental divisions well defined and
deeply cut ventrally ; each tubercle emits a tuft of short but rather
strong hairs. Ground color bright yellowish green, more decid-


edly green on the back; head pale yellow, the mandibles light
brown. A fine but clear yellowish white line forms the dorsal
stripe ; there is a much broader stripe of the same color along the
spiracular region, and the space between it and the spiracles is
prickled with streaks and spots of the same color. Spiracles
black, hairs grayish. Ventral surface, legs and prolegs uniformly
pale green. The pupa, although attached by the tail, was laid flat
along the top of the cage." (Porritt.)


Pterophorus cretidactylus Fitch, N. Y. Rep., Vol. I., p. 849 (1854).
(Edematophorus occidentalis Wlsm., Pter. Cal. and Ore., p. 37,

Plate II., figs. 13,14 (1880).
Plerophorus cretidactylus Fern., Can. Ent, Vol. XXV., p. 96


Expanse of wings, 26 mm. Head whitish ochreous, slightly
tinged with fawn color on the front ; palpi fawn color ; antennae
whitish, faintly spotted with fawn color ; thorax whitish ochreous.
Abdomen fawn color. Fore and middle legs white, with dark,
brush-like tufts on the joints ; hind legs tinged with fawn color,
whitish on the inner sides; segments slightly thickened, not an-

Fore wings whitisn ochreous, the costa, apex and hind margin
tinged with fawn color ; a dark fawn-colored spot before the base
of the fissure, more or less connected obliquely with an elongated
spot of the same color on the costa ; a light space on each side of
the costal spot. Fringes whitish ochreous, tinged with pale fawn
color. Hind wings and fringes lustrous, pale fawn color.

Habitat. New York, California. Early stages and food plant


(Edematophorus cretidactylus Zell., Lep. Westk. Am., p. 22 (1874).
(Edematophorus cretidactylus Wlsm., Pter. Cal. and Ore., p. 35

(Edematophorus cretidactylus Kell., Bull. Buf. Soc., Vol. IV., p. 2

Alucita eupatorii Fern., Can. Ent, Vol. XXV., p. 96 (1893).

Expanse of wings, 22-24 mm. Head dull reddish brown;
thorax pale brown; legs brown, darker at the middle and ends
of the tibiae ; segments of the tarsi white at the base and brown
at the tips ; spurs white in the middle and brown at the tips.


Fore wings pale ochre yellow, whitest on the costal portion, and
sprinkled with dark-brown scales to such an extent as to give them
a wood-brown color. These dark-brown scales form an antefis-
sural spot, which in some specimens is concave on the outside and
extended obliquely up and out, nearly reaching a dark-brown cos-
tal streak over the end of the fissure, beyond which are two costal
dark-brown spots, the first of which is the smaller. The brown on
the second lobe sometimes gives this part of the wing a streaked
appearance. Fringes smoke brown, cut with whitish once on the
first lobe and twice on the outer margin of the hind lobe. Hind
wings and fringes brownish cinereous.

Habitat. New York, California, Vancouver Island. Food,
Eupatorium purpureum.

"Larva. Length, 0.55 of an inch; color of skin greenish,
striped with wine color and white ; hairs dusky, lighter laterally.
Dorsal line white, interrupted with circles and bordered laterally
with wine color. That part of the dorsal space in which the
tubercles stand, much lighter in hue; subdorsal and stigmatal
lines white, bounded by the same shade as the dorsal. Head
light green, spiracles ringed with brown.

"Pupa. Color, green, ornamented with wine-colored and
white lines. It has the same size and habits as homodactylus ; the
tubercles are similar. It is a little thicker, the anterior end more
obtusely truncated and less bilobed. The hairy clothing similar
to liomodactylus, but the hairs not so smooth as in that pupa."


(Ed&inatophorus guttatus Wlsm., Pter. Cal. and Ore., p. 36, Plate II.,
fig. 12 (1880).

Expanse of wings, 25 mm. Head and palpi whitish, sprinkled
with cinereous, the palpi fuscous at the sides ; thorax and abdomen
whitish cinereous. Hind legs white, with two slightly fuscous

Fore wings whitish cinereous, paler at the base, dusted with
fuscous scales toward the costa and hind margin ; a white spot,
generally bordered on the inner edge by two fuscous scales, lies at
the base of the fissure ; another similar spot is sometimes indi-
cated before the middle of the hind margin. Fringes of the outer
margin and fissure cinereous fuscous, slightly interrupted with
whitish. Hind wings pale cinereous. Fringes paler.

Habitat. California. Early stages and food plant unknown.

(Edematophorus cineraceus Fish, Can. Ent., Vol. XIII., p. 73 (1881).

Expanse of wings, 28 mm. Front of bead dark grayish brown,
vertex pale cinereous. Palpi grayish brown, ascending, third seg-
ment short. Antennae cinereous, dotted above with dark brown.
Abdomen cinereous, marked with reddish-brown scales. Legs
brownish cinereous, sprinkled with dark-brown scales ; a band on
the middle and on the end of the middle tibiae dark grayish brown,
spurs tipped with dark brown ; tarsi whitish cinereous, slightly
brownish at extreme end of segments.

Fore wings cinereous, tinged with brownish, and very thinly
sprinkled with dark-brown scales. These scales form a median
spot before the base of the fissure, bordered on the outside with
white. A longitudinal brown spot occurs on the costa opposite
the base of the fissure, and two smaller ones toward the apex.
Fringes brownish cinereous. Hind wings and fringes brownish

Habitat. Washington. Early stages and food plant unknown.

(Edematophorus Baroni Fish, Can. Ent., Vol. XIII., p. 73 (1881).

Expanse of wings, 30 mm. Front of head brownish cinereous,
vertex lighter. Palpi rather stout, third segment very short and
blunt. Antennae pale cinereous, dotted above with dark brown.
Thorax and abdomen pale brownish cinereous, the latter marked
dorsally by a row of fine black dots on each segment beyond the
third. Anterior and middle femora brownish cinereous, tibiae
grayish, tarsi whitish cinereous. Hind femora and tibiae pale
brownish cinereous, spurs short, tipped with black.

Fore wings brownish cinereous, ochreous on the inner margin
and second lobe, the whole surface sprinkled with fine black scales.
Fringes concolorous with the wings. Hind wings and fringes dark

Habitat. California. Early stages and food plant unknown.


(Edematophorus gratiosus Fish, Can. Ent., Vol. XIII., p. 73 (1881).

Expanse of wings, 22 mm. Head and palpi dark brown ; an-
tennae pale brownish, dotted above with white and dark-brown
scales. Thorax grayish brown, anterior portion lighter. Abdo-


men fawn brown. Legs grayish brown, tarsi pale cinereous,
slightly darker on the extremities of segments.

Fore wings pale cinereous, dusted with dark brown ; an oblique
brown spot occurs before the base of the fissure and a longitudinal
brown costal line nearly opposite the base of fissure. Fringes
concolorous with wings. Hind wings and fringes brownish cin-
ereous, third feather whitish.

Habitat. California. Early stages and food plant unknown.

(Edematophoms lugubris Fish, Can. Ent, Vol. XIII., p. 140 (1881).

Expanse of wings, 27-29 mm. Head and palpi dark smoky
brown. Antennae dotted above with white and blackish scales.
Thorax light smoky brown. Abdomen slender, dark smoky
brown, thickly sprinkled with very dark scales. Legs grayish
brown, the middle tibiae whitish just before the middle and end ;
all the tarsi whitish at base of joints ; spurs whitish at base.

Fore wings dark smoky gray, dusted with dark brown scales ; a

1 2 3 5 7

Online LibraryCharles Henry FernaldThe pterophoridae of North America → online text (page 5 of 7)