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

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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 28 of 29)
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young larva, with two of the peculiar long hairs next the head
magnified. A much smaller species, which expands only 3.10
indies, is the ( 1 . ^^inkralis G. and R., which was discovered
at Andover, Mass., by Mr. J. O. Treat. It is purplish brown,
without any yellow spots, and with a diffuse discal spot, centred


with reddish scales. Mr. Treat has raised this fine moth from
the larva found on the common pitch pine ; it resembles that
of C. regalis. It also occurs in Georgia, as it has been figured
in the unpublished drawings of Abbot, now in the possession
of the Boston Society of Natural History.

Eades imperialis Hiibner has broader wings, expanding from
four and a half to over five inches. The wings are yellow with
purple brown spots. The larva is but slightly tuberculated,
with long, fine hairs. Its chrysalis is like that of Anisota.

The genus Anisota is much smaller than the foregoing, with
variously striped larvae, which are naked, with two long,
slender spines on the prothoracic ring, and six much shorter
spines on each of the succeeding segments. They make no co-
coons, but bury themselves several inches deep in the soil just
before transforming, and the chrysalids end in a long spine,
with the abdominal rings very convex and armed with a row of
small spines. The species have much smaller, narrower wings,
with less broadly pectinated antennae than in the foregoing
moths. A. rubicunda Fabr. is rose colored, with a broad,
pale yellow band on the fore wings. Anisota senatoria Smith
is pale tawny brown, with a large, white, round dot in the cen-
tre of each fore wing.

The next group of this extensive family embraces the Lach-
neides of Hiibner, in which the moths have very woolly stout
bodies, small wings, with stoutly pectinated antennae, while the
larvae are long, cylindrical and hairy, scarcely tuberculated, and
spin a very dense cocoon. The pupae are longer than in the
two preceding subfamilies. Gastropacha (Fig. 159, hind wing)
has scalloped wings, and a singular grayish larva whose body
is expanded laterally, being rather flattened. G. Americana
Harris is rusty brown, slightly frosted, and with ashen bands
on the wings.

In Tolype the wings are entire. T. Velleda Stoll is a curi-
ous moth, being white, clouded with blue gray, with two broad,
dark gray bands on the fore wings. The larva is hairy and is
liable to be mistaken for an excrescence on the bark of the
apple tree, on which it feeds.

The American Tent Caterpillar is the larva of Clisiocampa,
well known by its handsome caterpillars, and its large, con-


spicuous webs placed in neglected apple trees and on the wild
cherry. The eggs are laid on the twigs, in bunches of from
300 to 400, placed side by side and covered with 'a tough
gummy matter ; they are sometimes infested by chalcid para-

The larvae of C. Americana Harris hatch out just as the
leaves are unfolding and soon form a web, under which the col-
on v lives. They may be destroyed by previously searching
for the bunches of eggs on the twigs before the tree is leaved
out, and the caterpillars may be killed with a brush or mop
dipped into strong soap-suds, or a weak solution of petroleum.

The larvae become full grown about the middle of June, then
spin their dense white cocoons, under the bark of trees, etc.,
and the moths appear about the
first of July. The larva of C.
Americana is about two inches
long, hairy, with a dorsal white
stripe, with numerous fine crin-
kled black lines on a yellow
ground, united below into a
common black band, with a blue
spot on the side of each ring.
The moth (Fig. 232, and larva) Fi *- 232 -

is reddish brown, with two oblique, dirty white lines on the
fore wings. It expands from an inch and a quarter to an inch
and a half. The Forest Tent caterpillar, C. disstria Hiibner
(C. sylvatica Harris) differs in the apex of the fore wings
being much longer, with two transverse rust brown, nearly
straight, parallel lines. It is sometimes destructive to the
apple and oak trees.

The Hepiali are a group of boring moths, the larvae boring
in the stems of plants or in trees. The wings are narrow, both
pairs being very equal in size, and show a tendency to recur to
the net-veined style of venation of the Neuroptera. Xykutes is
a large moth, with a stout vein passing through the middle of
the discal space, and the short antennae have two rows of short
teeth on the under side. X. robinice Peck is gray, with irregu-
lar black lines and dots on the wings, and a black line on the
inside of the shoulder tippets. The hind wings of the male


(X. crepera Harris) are distinctly triangular and yellow on the
outer half. The larva is nearly three inches long, is reddish
above and covered with sparse long hairs. It bores in various
directions through the red oak and locust, and spins a dense
cocoon. The pupa is much elongated, with the suture between
the segments well marked, and the head and thorax rather small.
Stlienopis is a gigantic moth, with more falcate wings than
in Hepialus. S. argenteomaculata Harris expands nearly
three inches, and is ashy gray, variegated with dusky clouds
and bands, with a small, triangular, silvery spot and round
dot near the base of the fore wings. Hepialus is smaller, with
a larger head and straighter wings. H. humuli Linn, is
injurious to the hop vine in Europe. Our most common spe-
cies, H. mustelinus Pack., is sable brown, with slight silvery
lines on the fore wings. It expands a little over an inch and
a quarter.

Latreille (Noctuidce). Owlet moths. There
is a great uniformity in the genera of this family, which are
characterized by their thick bodies, the thorax being often
crested, by the stout and well developed palpi, and the simple
and sometimes slightly pectinated antennas . The fore wings
are small and narrow, and the rather large hind wings are
when at rest folded under them, so that the moth looks much
smaller than when flying. They fly swiftly at night, and are
attracted by light. The fore wings have almost invariably a
dot and reniform spot in the middle of the wing, and the moths
are generally dark and dull colored. The larvae taper towards
each end, and are striped and barred in different ways. They
have sixteen feet, except those of the lower genera, such as
Catocala and other broad-winged genera, which have fourteen,
and look when they walk like the Geometers. They make
thin earthen cocoons, and the pupae generally live under
ground. In these and other more essential characters, this
family is intermediate between the Bombycidse and the Phalse-
nidae. There are about 2,500 species known.

These moths can be taken at dusk flying about flowers, while
they enter open windows in the evening, and during the night
are attracted by the light within. When alighted on the table


under a lamp a slight tap with a ruler will kill them without
injuring the specimens. In warm, fogg} 7 evenings, they enter
in great numbers. The moths fly in July and August, but
many species occur only in autumn, while others hibernate and
are taken early in the spring. An English writer says, "moths
are extremely susceptible of any keenness in the air ; a north
or east wind is very likely to keep them from venturing abroad.
Different species have different hours of flight."

An English entomologist states, that "after dusk the flowers
of the willow are the resort of several species of moths (Noc-
tuidae), some of which have hibernated, and others have just
left their pupa state. It is now some fifteen years since the
collectors first took moths in this way, that were likely long to
have remained deficient in the collections but for the discovery,
by Mr. II. Doubleday, of the attractive powers of the sallow
blossoms. I believe it w r as the same gentleman who found out
about the same time that a mixture of sugar and beer [or rum.
and sugar or molasses, etc.], mixed to a consistence somewhat
thinner than treacle, is a most attractive bait to all the NOG-
twelve. The revolution wrought in our collections, and our
knowledge of species since its use, is wonderful."

"The mixture is taken to the woods, and put upon the
trunks of trees in patches or stripes, just at dusk. Before it is
dark some moths arrive, and a succession of comers continue
all through the night, until the first dawn of day warns the
revellers to depart. The collector goes, soon after dark, with
a bull's-eye lantern, a ring net, and a lot of large pill boxes.
He turns his light full on the wetted place, at the same time
placing his net underneath it, in order to catch any moth that
may fall. The sugar bait may be used from March to October
with success, not only in woods, but in lanes, gardens, and
wherever a tree or post can be found to put it upon. The best
nights will be those that are warm, dark and wet ; cold, moon-
light, or bright, clear and dry nights are always found to be
unproductive. It is also of no avail to use sugar in the vicinity
of attractive flowers, such as those of the willow, lime or ivy.
Sometimes one of the Geometridce or Tineidce comes, and
occasionlly a good beetle." The virgins' bower, when in blos-
som, is a favorite resort of Noctuae. Many can be taken by


carrying a kerosene lamp into the woods and watching for
whatever is attracted by its light.

Thyatira and Cymatophora are allied by their small, hairy
heads, to the Notodontae in the preceding family. In Thyra-
tira the palpi are long and depressed, and the
fore wings are dark, with five or six large light
spots, and the larva is like that of the Noto-
Fig. 233. dontae, . the segments being humped, and the
anal legs raised while at rest, while Cymatophora is pale ashen,
the fore wings being crossed by four or five waved lines. The
larva is smooth, rather flattened beneath, with a large head.
It feeds on trees, between two leaves united by silk. C. cani-
plaga Walker describes from Canada. Gramatopliora trisig-
nata Doubleday (Fig. 233*, fore wing) is a gaily colored spe-
cies, greenish, marbled with
black, with three large, round,
brown spots on the fore wings.
The larva (Fig. 234) is
humped, giving it a zig-zag
outline, and is brown with the
third to the sixth abdominal F te- 234.

rings much paler. It has the unusual power of boring very
smooth, cylindrical holes in solid pine wood. We have re-
ceived specimens of its tunnels from Mrs. J. Brigham. We
have found the larvae just moulting on the leaves of the lilac,
September 12th.

In Acronycta the head becomes large and broad, the fore
wings are broad and short, with dark streaks and a dark mark,

like the Greek letter Psi on the
inner margin. The larvae vary
j n b e i n g humped or cylindrical,
- 235 - downy, slightly hairy, or very

hairy, and feed exposed on shrubs. The pupa lies in a co-
coon made in moss or in crevices of bark. A. oblinita Smith
(Fig. 235, larva) is whitish gray, with darker streaks on the
fore wings.

Apatela Americana Harris is a large, pale gray moth, without
black streaks, whose woolly, yellowish caterpillar, with long,
slender pencils of black hairs, feeds on the maple.


We have received from Mr. Sanborn a singular caterpillar
allied to this genus (Fig. 236), which is figured in the Harris
Correspondence as Acronycta acris? var. Americana. "It is
liTccnish brown," according to Harris, u each segment above
with a transverse oval greenish yellow spot ; the body is beset
with a few long black bristles, dilated at the end, which do not
grow, as usual, from small warts ;
there are no long bristles on
the second and third thoracic,
or on the tenth abdominal rings.
It moves very quickly, and rests
with the fore part of the body Fig. 236.

bent sideways. The chrysalis was found under a log fastened
to another with a few threads. The moth appeared June 28th."
In Leucania the fore-wings are short, the outer margin nearly
straight, while the hind wings are usually white. Leucania
tmijHinctd Ilaworth (Plate 8, fig. 2; a, larva) is the "Army-
worm" of the Northern States. Its larva is smooth, cylindri-
cal, tapering rapidly towards each end, and striped with fine,
dark, longitudinal lines. It feeds on grasses, and in certain
years lias greatly ravaged wheat fields. It hides by day among
tufts of grass. The moth is rusty, grayish brown, peppered
with black scales, and with an oblique row of about ten black
dots running towards the apex, and a white discal spot. It
expands a little over one and a half inches. It constructs, in
the middle of August, a rude earthen
cocoon, or cell of dry grass. The moth
appears the last of August northwards.
Six species of Ichneumon, and one of
Tachina, prey upon this species. To pre-
vent the too great accumulation of this
very destructive caterpillar, the grass land

should be burnt over in autumn. When on the march their
armies may be kept out by ditching, and hogs and fowl should
be turned into fields during the middle of August, while they
are transforming, to prevent their attacks the succeeding year.
J.'//v,//x, the Dart-moth, is known by its crested thorax;
the palpi are broad and truncated, level with the front, and
the antennae are either somewhat pectinated or distinctly cili-



ated. The dot and reniform spot are very distinct, being sit-
uated on a black ground, and there is a basal, median, black
streak on the fore wing. The apex of the hind wings is much

produced. The larvae,
called "cutworms," are
thick, with a distinct,
horny, prothoracic
plate, like that in the
Tortrices, or leaf-rol-
lers ; they are marked
with shining and warty,
or smooth and concolor-
ri - 238> ous spots, and often lon-

gitudinal dark lines, and live by day hidden under sticks and
the roots of low plants ; feeding by night. The pupa is found
living under ground. Agrotis tessellata of Harris (Fig. 237)
is dark ash colored ; the two ordinary spots on the fore wings
are large and pale, and alternate with a triangular and a square,
deep, black spot. It expands an inch and a quarter. Agrotis

devastator Harris is the moth of
the cabbage cut-worm. Another
very abundant species, often seen
flying over the blossoms of the
Golden-rod in autumn is the Agro-
tis subgotliica (Fig. 238). Mr.
Riley states that this moth is the
"parent of a cut-worm which very
closely resembles that of A. Coch-
rani, but which has the dark side
divided into two stripes. The
Fi s- 239 - chrysalis remains somewhat longer

in the ground, and the moth makes its appearance from four
to six weeks later than A. Cochrani."

A. suffusa Den. and Schief. (A. telifera of Harris, fig. 239)
is so named from the lance-like streaks on the fore wings. It
appears late in July, and probably attacks corn, as Mr. Uhler
has found the chrysalids at the roots of corn in Maryland.
Riley describes the larva under the name of the Large Black
Cut-worm. It is an inch and a half in length when crawling.


"Its general color above is dull, dark, leaden brown, with a
faint trace of a dirty yellow white line along the back. The
subdorsal line is more distinct, and between it and the stigmata
are two other indistinct pale lines. There are eight black,
shiny, piliferous spots on each segment ; two near the subdorsal
line, the smaller a little above anteriorly ; the larger just below
it, and a little back of the middle of the segment, with the line
appearing especially light above it. The other two are placed
each side of the stigmata, the one anteriorly a little above,
the other just behind, in the same line with them, and having a
white shade above it."

While cut-worms have usually been supposed to feed upon
the roots of grasses and to cut off the leaves of succulent
vegetables, Mr. Cochran, of Calumet, 111., has discovered that
one species ascends the apple, pear and grape, eating off the
fruit buds, thus doing immense damage to the orchard. Mr.
Cochran, in a letter published in the "Prairie Farmer," states
that "they destroy low branched fruit trees of all kinds except
the peach, feeding on the fruit buds first, the wood buds as a
second choice, and preferring them to all things, tender grape
buds and shoots (to which they are also partial) not excepted ;
the miller always preferring to lay her eggs near the hill or
mound over the roots of the trees in the orchard, and if, as is
many times the case, the trees have a spring dressing of lime
or ashes with the view of preventing the operations of the May
Uvtlcs, this will be selected with unerring instinct by the mil-
ler, thus giving her larvae a fine warm bed to cover themselves
with during the day from the observation of their enemies.
They will leave potatoes, peas and all other young, green
things, for the buds of the apple and the pear. The long,
naked, young trees of the orchard are almost exempt from
their voracious attacks, but I found them about midnight, of a
dark and damp night, well up in the limbs of these. The of the dwarf apple and pear tree, however, just suits
their nature, and much of the complaint of those people who
cannot make these trees thrive on a sandy soil, has its source
in id foundation here, though apparently, utterly unknown to
the orchardist. There is no known remedy ; salt has no prop-
erties repulsive to them ; they burrow in it equally as quick as


in lime or ashes. Tobacco, soap and other diluted washes do
not even provoke them ; but a tin tube, six inches in length,
opened on one side and closed around the base of the tree, fit-
ting close and entering at the lower end an inch into the
earth, is what the lawyers would term an effectual estoppel to
further proceedings.

"If the dwarf tree branches so low from the ground as not to
leave six inches clear of trunk between the limbs and ground,
the limbs must be sacrificed to save the tree, as in two nights
four or five of these pests will fully and effectually strip a four
or five year old dwarf of every fruit and wood bud, and often
when the tree is green utterly denude it of its foliage. I look
upon them as an enemy to the orchard more fatal than the can-
ker worm when left to themselves, but fortunately for man-
kind, more surely headed off."

Mr. Riley has named this cut-worm Agrotis Cochrani (Fig.

240, and larva) and de-
scribes the larva which,
according to the obser-
vations of J. Townley
of Marquette, Wis.,
also ascends standard
trees, not confining
M - m its injuries to dwarf

trees. The cut-worm is 1.07 inches in length. "It is slightly
shagreened and the general color is of a dingy ash gray, with
lighter or darker shadings. The back is light, inclining to flesh
color with a darker dingy line along the dorsurn. The sides,
particularly along the subdorsal line, are of a darker shade.
On each segment there are eight small, black, shiny, slightly
elevated points, having the appearance of black sealing-wax,
from each of which originates a small black bristle. The stig-
mata are of the same black color and one of the black spots is
placed quite close to them anteriorly. The head is shiny and
of the same dingy color, with two darker marks ; thick and
almost joining at the upper surface, becoming thinner below
and diverging towards the palpi. The upper surface of the
first segment is also shiny like the head. The ventral region is
of the same dingy color, but lighter, having a greenish tinge


anteriorly and inclining to yellow under the anal segment.
Prole^s :iiul <e2t of the same color. It has a few short bristles
on the anterior and lateral segments.

"The head is light brown, with a dark brown spot on each
side and dark brown above, leaving the inverted Y mark in the
middle light brown, and having much the appearance of a
goblet, as one looks from tail to head. The cervical shield is
dark brown, except a stripe above and on each side. There
are sparse, short, white bristles laterally and posteriorly.
The venter and legs are of a glaucous glassy color, and the
feet are light brown."

"The moth in its general appearance bears a great resem-
blance to Iladena chenopodii, but the two are found to differ
essentially when compared. From specimens of H. chenopodii,
kindly furnished me by Mr. Walsh, and named by Grote, I am
enabled to give the essential differences, which are: 1. In
A. Cochrani, as already stated, the middle area exceeds some-
what in width either of the other two, while in II. chenopodii
it is but half as wide as either ; 2. In the Agrotis the space
between the spots and between the reniform and transverse
posterior is dark, relieving the spots and giving them a
light appearance, whilst in the Hadena this space is of the
same color as the wing, and the reniform spot is dark. The
chiviform spot in the Hadena is also quite prominent, and one
of its distinctive features ; while in the Agrotis it is just about

Another larva is called by Mr. Riley the W-marked cut-
worm. "It measures one and an eighth inches, and its gen-
eral color is ash gray, inclining on the back and upper side's
to dirty yellow : it is finely speckled all over with black
and brown spots. Along the back there is a fine line of a
lighter color shaded on each side at the ring joints with
a darker color. Subdorsal line light sulphur yellow, with a
band of dirty brownish yellow underneath. Along the stig-
matal region is a wavy line of a dark shade with flesh colored
markings underneath it; but the distinguishing feature is a
row of black velvety marks along each side of the back, on all
but the thoracic segments, and bearing a general resemblance
(looking from tail to head), to the letter W. The ventral region


is greenish gray ; prolegs of the same color ; thoracic feet brown
black. Head black with white lines in front, resembling an in-
verted Y, and white at the sides. The thoracic segments fre-
quently have a greenish hue."

Still another, of which the moth is unknown, is described
by Mr. Riley under the name of the Pale Cut-worm. "It
is of the same length as Cochran's cut- worm, and the general
color is pale gray, with a lilac colored hue, caused by innumer-
able light purplish markings on an almost white ground.
There is no particular shading on the back, and it is very slight
along the subdorsal line. The stigmata! line, however, being-
destitute of the above mentioned markings, is almost white.
Above this line there is a band of a darker shade than the rest
of the body. At first sight this worm appears quite smooth and
uniform in color, the most striking feature being the second
segment, which is shiny black, with three white lines. One of

these lines is on the
top, and continues
to some extent on
the head ; the others
are placed on each
side of this and do
not run down as far.
Fig. 241. a The anal segment

has also two black shiny marks on its surface. The stigmata
are black and the head is gray, below light shiny, and brown
above. Legs and feet of the same color as the under side of
the body which is nearly white with a glaucous tinge. There
are a few scattering hairs near the tail. This worm is
smoother than the others."

In Gortyna the antennae are crenulated in the male, and the
fore wings are yellow with darker markings. The larva is dull
colored with warty spots. That of G. flavago, an European
species, feeds in the stems of thistles and the burdock, chang-
ing to a pupa inside the stem. G. leucostigma attacks the colum-
bine (Harris). The habits of the Dahlia and Aster stalk borer
(Gortyna nitela Guenee) have been described by Mr. Riley,
who states that the fore wings of the moth (Fig. 241 ; a, larva)
are lilac gray, speckled with minute yellow dots, with a dis-


tinct white band running across them. The caterpillar is gen-
erally of a livid or purplish brown, though varying much as to
depth of shading and is darker before than behind. "The
young worm hatches about the first of July and immediately
commences its work of destruction. It works in such a sur-
reptitious manner as to be too often unnoticed till the vine is
destroyed. The plant does not generally show any signs of
decay until the cocoon is about fully grown, when it wilts and is
recovery. This occurs about a month after the worm is
hatched, and it then crawls just under the surface of the ground,
fastens a little earth together around itself by a slight web and
changes to a chrysalis of a very light mahogany brown color,
and three-fourths of an inch long. The moth comes forth the
fore part of September. The careful culturist need fear nothing

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 28 of 29)