A. S. (Alpheus Spring) Packard.

Guide to the study of insects, and a treatise on those injurious and beneficial to crops: for the use of colleges, farm-schools, and agriculturists online

. (page 26 of 29)
Online LibraryA. S. (Alpheus Spring) PackardGuide to the study of insects, and a treatise on those injurious and beneficial to crops: for the use of colleges, farm-schools, and agriculturists → online text (page 26 of 29)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the middle. The larva tapers in front, has a dorsal stripe just


above the row of stigmata, and a short recurved horn. It
transforms in an imperfect cocoon at the surface of the earth.
8esia dijfinis Boisd. is pale greenish yellow, with the abdomen
black beneath, and the legs black. The larva is
pale green, reddish beneath. Sesia Tliysbe Fabr.
is a more common species northward. The thorax
is deep olive green, with the abdomen reddish be-
neath, and with whitish legs. It is abundant, flying in June
in the hot sun about the lilac and Rhodora Canadensis.

Under the name of Lepisesia Mr. Grote has separated L.
flavofasciata Barnston (Fig. 204, venation of fore-wing) found
in Canada, from the genus Macroglossa, repre-
sented in Europe by M. stellatarum Linn.
Mr. Grote also separates from the latter
genus, under the name of Eupyrrhoglossum, Fig 205.

a Cuban moth, which has larger, fuller eyes, and larger hind
wings than in Macroglossa. E. Sagra (Fig. 205, venation of
fore-wing) is a handsome form described by Professor Poey.

Harris. These elegant and gaily colored moths,
which by the arrangement of their colors and their clear wings,
look like bees and wasps, are readily recognized by their small
size, narrow wings, thickened antennas, and by the tufts at the
end of the body, which they can spread out fan-like. They fly
very swiftly in the hottest sunshine. The larvae are borers,
living mostly in the hollowed stems of plants. They are whit-
ish, cylindrical, with sparse, short, inconspicuous hairs, and
they have no anal horns. They transform in a rude, oblong,
oval cocoon, constructed of the chips they make in boring out
their tunnels, cemented by a gummy secretion. The pupae are
chestnut-brown, with transverse rows of short teeth on the
abdominal rings, by which they make their way out, partly
through the hole previously made by the larva for the exit of
the moth. The shell of the chrysalis is often left protruding
from the hole. This family is, therefore, quite injurious to

^Egeria exitiosa Say (Fig. 206, $) the Peach-tree borer, has
caused the death of .many peach trees and also, according to
Fitch, occasionally attacks the plum. It is a slender, dark


blue moth, expanding an inch and a half, or more. The male
is much smaller than the female (Fig. 207), expanding one inch.
She deposits her eggs near the root of the tree. The larvae are
hatched and bore in to feed upon the inner bark and sap wood.
When one year old they make their cocoon under the bark or
at the root of the tree. Borers of all sizes, Harris states, will
be found in the trees throughout the year.

The trees should be protected by wrapping sheathing paper
around the bottom of the trunk, and putting fresh mortar around
the roots. The wounded part may' be cov-
ered with clay. ^Egeria pyri Harris infests
the pear tree. It is purple black above and
golden yellow beneath, with three yellow
bands across the abdomen, the middle band
Fig. 206. being the larger.

The habits of the Grape-root borer, ^E. polistiformis Harris,
resemble those of the Peach-tree borer. It sometimes de-
stroj^s grape-vines in the Middle and Western States, but does
not attack the Scuppernong variety. The larva lives under
ground, the female, according to Walsh, "depositing her egg
on the collar of the grape-vine, close to the earth ; the young
larvae, as soon as they hatch out, immediately descend into
the roots." They attack the sap-wood and bark of the roots,
eating irregular furrows. The cocoons are oval, and covered
with bits of wood and dirt. They are
found, through the summer, in the earth
near the roots of the grape, and the moths
fly from the middle of June until the mid-
dle of September, according to Dr. Kron.
Harris describes the moth as being dark
brown, tinged with tawny orange on the

sides, and banded with bright yellow upon the edge of the
second abdominal ring. The thorax and fourth abdominal
ring are faintly tinged with yellow, or tawny orange, as are
the palpi, under side of the antennae, and the legs. The female
has a little orange colored tuft on each side of the tail, and
the males have two tufts on each side. The wings expand
from one to one and a half inches. Another species, ^E.
caudata Harris, inhabits the wild currant.



Fig. 208.


The currant borer, ^geria tipuliforme Linn. (Fig. 208 ; 6,
larva ; a, pupa, enlarged) has been introduced from Europe, and

is a great pest in our gar-
dens, injuring the currant
bushes. It is a slender,
agile, dark blue moth, found
flying in July in the hot sun,
about the currant leaves.
The larva bores in the stems,
and by splitting them open,
in the fall and spring, we
shall find the larva, which
pupates towards the last of May.

Mr. James Ridings describes from Virginia
caudata (Fig. 209) which has
five filaments at the tip of
the abdomen. Its body is
blue black, with a transparent
spot at the base of the hind
wings, while the third abdom-
inal segment is red above.

The Squash-vine borer, rig. 210.

Melittia cucurbitce Harris (Fig. 210 ; a, larva), often kills, very
suddenly, the squash plant. The moth is orange colored,
spotted with black, and its hind legs are
fringed with long, orange and black hairs.
She oviposits on the vine close to the roots,
from the tenth of July to the middle of Au-
gust. The larva eats out the interior of the
vine, and usually transforms in a rude earthen
cocoon near the roots, but as we have no-
ticed, within the stem, beginning to spin its cocoon the first
of October.

ZYGVENID.E Latreille. This interesting group connects the
diurnal with the nocturnal Lepidoptera. Some of the forms
(Castnia) remind us strikingly of the butterflies. The group
may be recognized by the rather large free head, and the
simple antennae which are slightly swollen in the middle, or


partially clavate, as in Zygaena. The wings are long and nar-
row in the typical genera, becoming shorter and broader in the
lower genera, such as Euremia, from India. The scales are
fine, powdery and scattered thinly over the surface, often leav-
ing naked spots on the wings. The species are usually green
or deep blue, with scales of purplish black, or entirely black,
alternating with gay colors, such as golden, bronze, or white
and red. They fly in the hot sunshine.

The sixteen-footed, greenish larvae are short, cylindrical, the
body being obtuse at each end. The head is veiy small and
when at rest is partially drawn into the prothoracic ring. The
segments are short and convex, with transverse rows of un-
equal tubercles which give rise to thin fascicles of very short
and evenly cut hairs, which are often nearly absent. The
larvae are either naked, as in Alypia, Eudryas and Castnia, or,
as in the lower moth-like species, they are hairy, like those of
the Lithosians and Arctians in the next family. Before trans-
forming, the larvae usually spin a dense, silken cocoon, though
Eudryas and Castnia make none at all, and Ctenucha a slight
one of hairs. The pupa of Zygaana, especially, is intermediate
in form between that of -ZEgeria and Arctia, being much
stouter than the first, and somewhat less so than the last.
The head is prominent, and the tips of the abdomen sub-acute.
Ctenucha is more like Arctia, while Castnia and Alypia are
elongate, slender, with the head made especially prominent by
a tubercle on the front of the clypeus.

In common with the JSphingidce and ^Egeriadce, the
Zygaenidae are confined to the temperate and tropical regions.
The family type, Zygcena, has its metropolis about the Mediter-
ranean Sea, and thence spreads to the north of Europe, and
southward to the Cape of Good Hope. Zygcena exulans is
found as far north as Lapland, and in vertical distribution rises
6,000 to 7,000 feet in the Alps of Styria.

Castnia is, however, a tropical American genus. Alypia is
the most northern genus, extending into the Hudson Bay ter-
ritories. Glaucopis and allies, which comprise a large number
of species, are almost exclusively tropical American. In Aus-
tralia, as Klug observes, Castnia is represented by Synemon.
The American genus Eudryas is represented by very closely
allied South African genera.

ZYG^NID^E. 281

Castnia closely resembles the Hesperians, though much
larger. The species are of large size and of brilliant hues, and
fly in the day time, like the butterflies. The head is, however,
much narrower in front, and the antennae inserted higher up.
The larva is a borer, living in the stems of Orchids ; it is not
known, but probably has the usual form of boring caterpillars,
and the pupa is said by Klug to resemble that of Cossus.

Alypia comprises black moths, ornamented with white and
yellow patches on the wings. The antennae are long, and a
little thickened in the middle. . The wings are short and broad.
The body of the pupa is not contracted at the base of the
abdomen as in Eudryas. The larva feeds on the grape and
constructs an earthen cocoon, like that of JEgeria, according
to Harris. A. octo-maculata Fabr. is black, with eight spots,
two on each wing, those on the fore wing being yellowish, those
on the hind wing white.

The genus Psychomorplia is allied to Alypia, but differs in
the broadly pectinated antennae, and the shorter palpi, which
do not pass beyond the front of the
head. P. epimenis Drury (Fig. 211) is
found from Connecticut southwards.
It is black, with a broad, yellow, white,
irregularly lunate patch crossing the
outer third of the wing, and on the un-
der side is larger, being triangular,

with two square black spots connected with the costa ; on the
hind wings is a little larger, mostly regular crescent-shaped
brick-red spot; it expands 1.10 inches. Doubleday (Harris
Correspondence) states on the authority of Abbot, that the
larva feeds on Bignonia radicans, in Georgia. "It is pale,
with black lines, and though having the full complement of
legs, seems to be a semi-looper in its walk, like Brephos."

Eudryas is a peculiar form, gaily colored, and easily known
by the densely tufted forelegs, and the short tufts of metallic
scales on the thorax and abdomen. The antennae are filiform,
and the abdomen is tipped with hairs. The larva of E. grata
Fabr. is gaily colored with orange and blue, dotted with black.
The body is long and widens towards the eighth ring, which is
humped, from which the body rapidly narrows to the tip.


Across each segment is a row of tubercles which give rise to
three fascicles of hairs. The pupa is rather long, with a promi-
nent tubercle on the front of the head, and the abdominal tip
ends in four tubercles. The larva feeds on the grape dur-
ing midsummer and at the end of August creeps down, bury-
ing itself three or four inches, without making any cocoon.
Mr. L. Mitchell of Norwich, Connecticut, has had the kind-
ness to send me "a piece of wood burrowed by the E. grata
with one of the pupae in position." As E. unio is now known
to burrow in the stems of plants, our opinion that Eudryas is
allied to Castnia would seem to be confirmed by the habits of
the larvae which seem, at least occasionally, to bore into wood.
Eudryas unio Hiibner according to Mr. Kirkpatrick, burrows
in the stems of Hibiscus, thus resembling Castnia in its habits.
Mr. Grote establishes the genus Euscirrliopterus for a moth
closely allied to Eudryas. E. Poeyi Grote (Fig. 212, fore
wing ; the venation of the hind wing
being ' ' almost identical with that of
Eudryas") is a brown and yellow
Cuban species.

Zygcena is an European genus, and
212 - its characters have been indicated

in describing those of the family. The antennae are much
thickened towards the end, the wings are long and narrow,
and the species are usually entirely blue black, or green with
red, or white and red bands and spots.

Acoloitlius represents the Procris (P. vitis) of Europe, but
the wings are longer and narrower, and the hind wings are
very ovate. The gregarious larva of A. Americana is little
over half an inch long, being short and thick. It is yellow with
a transverse row of black spots on each ring. Before pupating
it spins a dense cocoon in crevices. The moth is deep blue
black, with a saffron collar. Biley states that the "eggs are
deposited in clusters, and in twenty-five to thirty days from the
time of hatching, the worms, which then measure rather more
than half an inch, spin dirty white, flattened cocoons, mostly
in clusters on the leaf. Three days afterwards they become
chrysalids, also somewhat flattened, and of a shiny yellowish
brown ; while in ten days more the moths issue."

30MBYCID.E. 283

The genus Pyromorpha has thin, oblong wings, very broad
at base, the hinder pair being as broad as the fore-pair ; with
a small, slender body. P. dimidiata Herrich-Schaeffer (after-
wards described by Clemens under the name of Malthaca per-
lucidula) is blackish brown, with the basal half of the costal
region of both wings yellowish. It expands one inch, and is
found sparingly in the Middle States, but has been detected
near Boston by Mr. Sanborn.

The species of Glaucopis and its allies, abounding in tropical
America, are represented in the Northern States by Ctenucha,
which has pectinated antennae, long, slender, acutely pointed
palpi, and rather broad wings ; the apex of the fore-pair being
much rounded. The thick-bodied larva feeds on sedges and
grass, and is very hairy, like an Arctian. The pupa is short
and thick, and much like that of Arctia. Ctenucha Virginica
Charpentier is of a deep indigo blue, with a smoky tinge on the
fore wings, a lighter blue abdomen and a saffron collar. It
flies in the hottest sunshine. The female lays
her smooth, green, spherical eggs in a broad mass.

Lycomorplia has dentated antennae, the body
is unusually slender, and the wings long and nar-
row. L. Pholus Drury is deep blue, the wings
being saffron at base. The larva feeds on lichens. From Mr.
E. Bicknell I have received the eggs of this moth. The
larvae hatched August 10th, and closely resembled the larvae
of the Arctians when of the same age.

The genus Callalucia, according to Grote, differs from its
better known ally, Ctenucha, by its antennae not being so
broadly pectinated, its shorter palpi, and by important differ-
ences in the venation of the wings. C. vermiculata Grote (Fig.
213, hind wing) occurs in Colorado Territory.

BOMBYCID.E Latreille. This large and handsome family com-
prises some of the largest and most regal of moths. Their
thick heavy bodies, and small sunken heads, and often obsolete
mouth-parts (the maxillae or tongue being especially short com-
pared with other moths), and the broadly pectinated antennae,
together with their broad, often falcate wings and sluggish
habits, notwithstanding numerous exceptions, afford good


characters for distinguishing them. The clypeus is large, the
antennae are inserted higher up than in other moths, so that
when in doubt as to the position of some aberrant forms, a ref-
erence to these characters enables us to determine quite readily
as to their affinities. The larvae are thick, usually more hairy
than other moths, or, as in the typical forms, Attacus, etc., are
thick, fleshy and with seven longitudinal rows of long tubercles,
crowned with spines. The hairs, especially of the Arctians,
are thickly spinulated, so that the cocoons of the hairy species
are very dense and made with but little silk, while the naked
larvae, of which the silk-worm is a type, spin very dense co-
coons of the finest silk. It is probable that the caterpillars are
usually developed in the egg soon after it is laid in autumn.
Dr. Burnett has noticed that the embryos of the American Tent
caterpillar are developed before winter sets in, and "Guerin-
Meneville has found that the larvae of the Japanese silk- worm
(Saniia Yama-ma'i) are developed in the egg within a few days
of their deposition in autumn, although they are not hatched
until the following spring." (Zoological Record, 1864.)

Several moths of this family (Arctia pudica, Setina aurita,
Hypoprepia fucosa, etc.) have been known to produce a stridu-
lating noise by rubbing their hind legs over a vesicular expan-
sion situated on the sides of the thorax, and the Death's-head
Sphinx has long been known to produce a creaking sound.
The pupae are very short and thick and easily recognized by
their plump form. "Bar mentions the occurrence in Cayenne
of an aquatic caterpillar, which produces a moth, resembling
Bombyx phcedima of Cramer. This larva lives at the bottom
of the water, and feeds on the roots of an abundant weed."
(Bulletin Societe Entomologique de France, 1864.)

Litlwsia and its allies (Lithosiinae) have very narrow wings,
the antennae filiform, and the body slender. The larvae are
cylindrical and covered with short, spinulated hairs. Some of
them do not spin cocoons, so far as we know, the pupa of Cro-
cota being found under stones with the dried larva skin still
adhering to the tip of the abdomen. Lithosia argillacea Pack,
is slate-colored, with yellow palpi and prothorax. The base of
the wings and the tip of the abdomen are yellowish.

Lithosia casta Sanborn (Fig. 214) is an undescribed species



Fiff. 214.

of groat beauty, discovered by Mr. Sanborn at Berlin Falls,
N. II., August 10th, and also at Ausable Chasm, N. Y. It is
pure milk white, with a slight slate-colored tinge on the hind
wings, and is slate-colored beneath, especially on the fore
wings, and white on the inner edge of the hind wings. Just
behind the middle of the white abdomen are tufts of tawny
hairs, and the tip is white. It ex-
pands one and a quarter inches.

Crambidia has still narrower
wings. C. pallida Pack, is of an
uniform drab color and would be
easily mistaken for a Crambus.
Xmhiria has broad wings like a
geometric! moth, with hyaline spots. The larva is hirsute and
makes a thin cocoon of interwoven hairs. N. mundana is a
European moth. It is represented in this country by JEupJia-
nessa mendica Walk., which has broader wings and longer
palpi. The wings have two rows of smoky transparent spots.
Hypoprepia has rather broader wings than Lithosia. H. fu-
cosa Hiibner is deep scarlet, with three leaden stripes on the
fore wings, the middle stripe situated at the apex of the wing.
The larva, Mr. Saunders informs me, is "spiny and black,
sprinkled lightly with yellow dots and short lines ; there is a
dorsal row of yellow dots from the fifth to the twelfth segments.
The head is black." Early in May, according to Harris, it

makes its cocoon, which is thin
and silky, and the moth appears
twenty days afterwards.

Crocota is red, or yellowish red,
throughout, with black margins
and dots on the wings. The an-
Fig. 215. tennae are filiform and the wings

are broad, being triangular in form. Our most common
species is Crocota ferruginosa Walk., which is pale rust-red,
with two dusky broad bands on the outer half of the wing. A
much larger form is Utetheisa bella Linn. (Fig. 215), a beautiful
moth, whose yellow fore wings are crossed by bands of white,
encircling black dots, while its scarlet hind wings are edged
irregularly with black.


The genus Callimorpha is still larger, with broad wings.
C. Lecontei Boisduval is white, the fore wings being almost
entirely bordered with brown. The caterpillars of this genus
are usually dark colored, with longitudinal yellow stripes. By
day they hide under leaves or stones and feed by night on
various shrubby and herbaceous plants. C. interrupto-marginata
Beauv. (Fig. 216, fore wing) has an anchor-shaped black spot
when the wings are folded, one side of the anchor being seen
in the figure.

Arctia and its allies are stout-bodied, with short, moderately
broad wings, and simple or feathered antennae. The hairy
larvae are covered with dense whorls of long, spinulose hairs.
They make a loose cocoon of interwoven hairs under the
shelter of some board or stone. The pupa is short and thick.
Arctia virgo Linn, is an exceedingly beautiful insect. Its fore
wings sometimes expand two inches and a half, and are flesh-
red, streaked thickly with broad, black slashes, and on the
vermilion-red hind wings are seven or eight large black spots.
The caterpillar is brown. A. Anna Grote
is allied, but differs in the wholly black ab-
domen and black hind wings. It was de-
scribed first from Pennsylvania, and has
been detected by Mr. B. P. Mann on the
Alpine summit of Mount Washington, N. H.

The common black and reddish, very hairy caterpillar, found
feeding on various garden weeds, is the young of Pyrrharctia
Isabella Smith, a stout-bodied, snuff colored moth. The cater-
pillar hibernates, as do most of the others of the group of
Arctians, and we have kept it fasting for six weeks in the
spring, previous to pupating in the middle of June ; it re-
mained twenty-seven days in the pupa state, the moth appear-
ing early in June.

Leucarctia differs from Spilosoma in having narrower wings,
and the outer edge much more oblique. Leucarctia acrcea Smith
is white and buff colored. Its caterpillar is the salt-marsh cat-
erpillar, which at times has been very injurious by its great
numbers. It is yellow, with long hairs growing from yellow
warts, and it makes a coarse, hairy cocoon.

Hypliantria textor Harris is entirely white. The caterpillar, or


" fall web worm," is slender, greenish yellow, dotted with black,
with thin, silken hairs. It spins a thin and almost transparent
cocoon, or almost none at all. H. cunea Drury is white, spot-
ted with black dots. Mr. Saunders informs me that the larva
"will feed on Chenopodium album. The head is small, black,
shining, bilobate. The body is black, with a slight shade of
brown, and sprinkled with very small, whitish dots. Each seg-
ment has a transverse row of shining black tubercles, each
giving rise to a tuft of hairs of the same color ; on each side
of the body is a double row of orange-colored spots from the
sixth to the twelfth segment inclusive."

The "yellow bear" is the caterpillar of Spilosoma Virqinica
Fabr. The moth is white, with a black discal dot on the
fore wings and two black dots on the hind wings, one on the
middle and another near the inner angle.

Ihilesidota has a more slender body, with longer antennae and
palpi, and longer wings than Arctia, being thin and yellowish,
crossed by light brownish streaks. The larva is very short
and thick, usually white, with dark pencils and tufts of hairs,
arising from twelve black tubercles on each ring,
placed as seen in the cut (Fig. 217). //. tessel-
laris Smith, the "checkered tussock moth," is
ochre-yellow, with its partially transparent fore
wings crossed by five rows of dusky spots. If.
caryce Harris is light ochreous, with three rows
of w r hite semitransparent spots parallel to the very oblique
outer margin. "The chrysalis, according to Harris, is short,
thick, and rather blunt, but not rounded at the end and
not downy." Mr. Saunders writes me, that the larva of H.
maculata Harris "feeds on the oak. It is 1.30 inches in
length ; the body is black, thickly covered with tufts of bright
yellow and black hairs. From the fourth to the eleventh seg-
ments inclusive is a dorsal row of black tufts, the largest of
which is on the fourth segments." The moth appears early in
June ; it is light ochre-yellow, with large, irregular, light,
transverse, brown spots on the fore wings.

These tufted larvae lead to the tussock caterpillars, which, as
in 0/v///m, have long pencils of hair projecting over the head
and tail. The pretty larvae of this genus are variously tufted


and colored, and feed on the apple tree and various garden
vegetables. The males have very broad wings, with very
broadly pectinated antennae, and fly in the hot sunshine in
September. The females are wingless and often lay their eggs
on the outside of the cocoon, and then die, scarcely moving
from their eggs. 0. antiqua Och. is tawny brown, while 0. leu-
costigma Smith is dark brown, with a lunate white spot near
the outer angle.

The thick and woolly-bodied, pale yellowish, crinkled-haired
Lagoa is an interesting genus. The tip of the abdomen is very
broad, and the antennae are curved and broadly pectinated,
while the wings are short and broad. The larva is very densely
pilose with short, thick, evenly cut hairs, those at the end being
longer and more irregular. It is broadly oval, and might easily
be mistaken for a hairy Limacodes larva, for, like it, the head is

Online LibraryA. S. (Alpheus Spring) PackardGuide to the study of insects, and a treatise on those injurious and beneficial to crops: for the use of colleges, farm-schools, and agriculturists → online text (page 26 of 29)