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 29 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 29 of 29)
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from this troublesome insect, as an occasional close inspection
of the plants about the first of Juty will reveal the hole where
the borer has entered, which is generally quite a distance from
the ground, and by splitting downwards one side of the stalk
with a penknife it may be found and killed. If this inspection
be made at the proper time the worm will be found but a short
distance from the hole and the split in the stalk will heal by
being kept closed with a piece of thread." (Prairie Farmer.)

Achatodes differs from Gortyna in not having the fore wings
falcate. A. zece, described by Harris, is rust- red with gray
clouds and bands on the fore wings and yellowish gray hind
wings ; it expands an inch and a half. The larva feeds inside
the stalks of corn, within which it transforms ; it is a little
over an inch long, smooth and naked, with the head and the
top of the first and last rings of the body black, and with a
double row of small, smooth, black dots across each of the
other rings. It also infests the dahlia and elder.

The genus Mamestra comprises rather large moths in which
the antenn;e are rather long and simple in the male ; the front
of the head is smooth and convex, and the reniform dot is
very distinct, while the outer margin of the fore wings is rather
oblique. The larva is longer than usual and feeds on the
leaves of low plants, remaining concealed by day. The pupa
is subterranean, the cocoon being made of earth.

Mamestra arctica Boisd. (Hadena arnica) is common north-


ward, and is found in the colder subarctic regions of America
and Europe. It cuts off the leaves of roses and other shrubs.
Fitch states that the larva, late in May in New York, cuts off
the young shoots of the currant. It is an inch and a half long,
of a shining livid color, with faint dots, from which arise a very
short, fine hair. It remains in the pupa state about a month be-
neath the ground, the moth appearing in July. It is found also
in Labrador and in Europe. The moth expands an inch and
three quarters and is of a deep Spanish brown, variegated with
gray, with a very conspicuous reniform dot ; the outer edge is
bordered with blue gray. Harris also describes M. picta, a red-
dish brown species, with a conspicuous white Z on the outer
edge of the fore wing. The larva is yellow, gaily variegated
with three longitudinal stripes. It feeds on garden vegeta-
bles, and Mr. Fish informs me that it feeds on the cranberry.

The genus Plusia is quite unlike the foregoing genera, as
the palpi are long and slender, and the fore wings are acute,
with silver marks and lines, usually a dot and dash, like a
semicolon ; the inner angle is tufted, and the hind wings are

Our most common species is Plusia precationis Guenee,
the larva of which, according to Mr. Saunders, feeds on the
hollyhock in August. "It is one and a half inches long,
the body tapering anteriorly and thickening in the middle
and towards the end. The head is small, smooth, shining
green, with a black stripe on each side. The body is green
with dull whitish, longitudinal lines above and a whitish stripe
somewhat more distinct on each side near the spiracles. It
changed to a chrysalis August 9th." A species of Plusia, like
P. prsecationis, is figured by Mr. Glover in his unpublished
plates of insects injurious to the cotton plant. It has a much
curved, semicircular discal spot, with a distinct dot just beyond,
the two spots arranged thus <^ . The caterpillar is pale
green, the body increasing in size from the head to the tail and
with a lateral row of brown dots. "It was found eating the
cotton flower in Georgia the last of October." It forms a loose,
thin cocoon among the leaves, and the pupa is pale green,
spotted above with irregular brown spots. Mr. Glover also
figures quite a different species of Plusia, which has the same


habits as the species just mentioned. It belongs, however, to
a different section of the genus, and on the discal area is an
oblique, golden, irregular oval patch, containing two unequal
dots. Tin. 1 larva is pale green and has a broad, lateral, white
stripe. The chrysalis is brown and protected by a thin, loose
cocoon. P. divergens Fabr. lives on the Alps, in Finmark, and
in Labrador. Mr. F. G. Sanborn found, July 6th, a closely allied
species on the summit of Mount Washington, N. H., w r hich dif-
fers from P. divergens in the forked, golden, discal spot being
a third smaller, while the two branches of the spot go off at
right angles to each other. On the fore wings the second line
from the base is acutely dentate on the submedian vein, where
in P. divergens it is straight, and the outer line is also den-
tate, not being so in P. divergens. The hind wings are yel-
lowish at base, with a wide black margin. It may be called
Plusia montana. Mr. Grote has described P. ignea (P. alticola
of Walker) from Pike's Peak, which is closely allied
to P. divergens. Plusia cerea Hiibner (Fig. 242, side
view) is a reddish brown moth, with obscure markings,
and without the usual metallic spots. It expands a
little over an inch, and is not uncommon in the North-
ern States.

Anomis is a slender-bodied genus, with triangular Fig. 242.
fore wings. A. xylina Say feeds upon the cotton. It is a
brown moth with a dark discal oval spot centred by two
pale dots. She deposits, according to Mr. Glover, a low, much
flattened, vertically ribbed egg upon the surface of the leaf.
The larva is a looper, whence it can be readily distinguished
from the army and boll worms, and its body is thickest in the
middle, very hairy, green, dotted with black along a subdorsal
yellowish line, and with black dots beneath. It matures early
in the season, and a second brood becomes fully grown in Sep-
tember and October. When about to transform it gathers a
leaf together by a web, thus forming a rude cocoon. (Glover.)

Like our northern army worm (Leucania unipuncta) the
Army worm of the South (Fig. 243, and larva, from Glover),
makes its appearance in great numbers in a single day,
committing the greatest havoc in a few hours. Professor J.
Darby, of Auburn, Ala., writes me that "Saturday, Septem-


ber 19th, I was in the field examining the forms (buds before
flowering) and the young bolls (fruit after the floral organs
have fallen off). I examined all carefully, with no signs of eggs
or worms. On Sunday I did not see it. On Monday I passed
it as usual and observed nothing unusual. On Tuesday morn-
ing I passed it and noticed nothing unusual. On Tuesday noon
every plant in the field was stripped of all its upper leaves ;
not one remaining as far as could be seen, and the plants were
covered with millions of worms. I counted on one plant forty-
six worms. They commence at the top of the plant, eating
every leaf. When the leaves were gone they attacked the
young bolls, eating through the perianth and consuming the
young cotton. In the course of four days the work was done.
They did not touch the grape or any other plant in the field,
so far as I have been able to see.
Many left the field and thousands were
i n ^ ne roa d and on the fences, but not
one in a thousand thus escaped. To-
day, September 23d, there is scarcely
one to be seen. Their disappearance
is as mysterious as their coming. They
have left no signs that I can see,
either on the stalks or in the ground.

They have extended over hundreds of miles, and nothing
has proved a barrier to them, having been as destructive
on islands in the river, as elsewhere. One-third of the
cotton crop has been destroyed. Nothing of the kind has
occurred in thirty years past to my knowledge." The larva
is reddish brown, with distinct black spots, the dorsal line
being streaked with yellow and black. It hibernates as a
moth. The presence of this caterpillar in the West Indies
caused the cultivation of cotton to be abandoned. The same,
or another species, also appears often in Guiana and other parts
of South America. A good remedy against the worm is a mix-
ture of two parts of carbolic acid with 100 of water, to be
sprinkled on the leaves of the plant. Heliotliis has pubescent
antennae, the thorax and abdomen are smooth, and the fore
wings slightly acute at tip. The larva is elongated, but not
attenuate, with a large head and distinct lines along the body.



It feeds exposed on low plants, preferring the flowers. The
pupn is conical and subterranean. II. armigera Linn. (Fig.
244; a, larva) is the "boll
worm" of the Southern States,
so destructive to cotton crops.
Riley states that it also feeds
on the fruit of the tomato, and
in Southern Illinois on the silk
and green kernels of com and
also the phlox, tomato and
corn-stalks, and, according to
Mr. T. Glover, it bores into the
pumpkin. Mr. Riley, in the Fig. 211.

"Prairie Farmer," describes apparently the same insect under
the name of the "Phlox worm" (Fig. 245, and larva). He states
that there are two broods in a year, the first appearing in July,
and becoming moths by the middle of August,
the second passing the winter in the chiysalis
state. The eggs are deposited singly on all
Fig. 24(5. portions of the plant, and the caterpillar,
when about to become a chiysalis, enters the ground, and in-
terweaves grains of sand with a few silken theads, forming a
very slight elastic cocoon." The genus Helioclieilus differs
from Heliothis in its broader and shorter wings and its vena-
tion. H. paradoxus
( Jrote (Fig. 246, vena-
tion of fore wing) is a
pale testaceous moth,
with the fore wings
darker. It inhabits
Colorado Territory.

Anarta is rather a
small moth, with a
hairy body and small
head; the fore wings Fig. 245.

are thick and velvety, with confused markings, and the hind
wings are yellow or white, often bordered with black. The
larva is short and smooth in repose, with the anterior portion
of the body bent under the breast. The pupa is enclosed in a


cocoon of silk mixed with earth. The genus is arctic or sub-
arctic, and inhabits Alpine summits. A. algida Lefebvre in-
habits Labrador and Lapland. A closely allied and undescribed
species, seems to be peculiar to the summit of Mount Wash-
ington, N. H., where it has been detected by Mr. Sanborn.

Xanthoptera semicrocea Guenee (Plate 8, fig. 3 ; a, larva) is
brown, with the base of the wings saffron yellow ; it expands
a little less than one inch. Dr. A. W. Chapman, of Appalachi-
cola, Fla., states in a letter to Mr. Sanborn, that the larva
feeds on the leaves of the Pitcher plant, Sarracenia. It is red
and cylindrical, with short black tubercles on the top of each
segment, and a black cylindrical spine on each side of the
four basal rings of the abdomen, surmounted by fine hairs.
It does not spin a cocoon but hangs loosely by a few silken
threads within the pitcher-like leaf, and the moth is the only
insect that can get out of the bristly and narrow opening of
the "pitcher."

The little slender-bodied genus Erastria has filiform antennae
and a slender crested abdomen, with the usual lines and dots
quite distinct. The larva is smooth and slender, with only
three pairs of abdominal legs. The pupa is enclosed in a co-
coon among leaves or moss. E. carneola Guenee is a common
species, with the outer edge of the fore wings flesh colored.

In Brephos the hind wings are bright orange, the body is
hairy and the antennae are ciliated ; the abdomen is slender,
and the wings are broader than usual. The larva is smooth,
elongate, with sixteen legs, though the first two abdominal
pairs are useless for walking, hence the larva has a semi-
looping gait. It feeds on trees and makes a slight cocoon
in moss or under bark. B. infans Moschler inhabits Labrador
and New England. It flies early in April before the snow has
left the ground.

Catocala is a beautiful genus, the species being numerous
in this country and of very large size, often expanding three
inches or more ; the wings are broad, and in repose form a
very flat roof. The larva is elongate, slender, flattened beneath
and spotted with black, attenuated at each end, with fleshy
filaments on the sides above the legs, while the head is flat-
tened and rather forked above. It feeds on trees and rests


attached to the trunks. The pupa is covered with a bluish
eiilorescence, enclosed in a slight cocoon of silk, spun amongst
leaves or bark. C. piatrix Grote is brown on the anterior
wings and varied with black, while the hind wings are yellow
with u broad median and marginal band. It is common in the
Middle and Eastern States.

C. ultronia Hubner (Plate 8, fig. 4 ; a, larva) expands two
and a half inches and is of a rich umber color, with a broad
ash stripe along the middle of the wings, not extending to-
wards the apex, which is brown. The hind wings are deep red,
dusky at base, with a median black band, and beyond is a red
band a little broader than the dark one, while a little less than
the outer third of the wing is blackish. The larva feeds on
the Canada plum. It is gray with black punctures, and the
head is edged with black. The segments are transversely
wrinkled, and on each one are two whitish and two brownish
papillae ; the two brown ones on
the eleventh ring are much
larged, and on the ninth ring

small brownish horn. On the />~ J>

c &~~~~'
sides of the body, before the spir-

acles is a line of light pink fila-

ments fringing the scalloped sides. On July 15th the larva
changed to a chrysalis in an earthen cocoon, and the moth ap-
peared on the 2d of August.

Druxtcriti is a small, grayish moth, with two geminate black
dots near the apex, and a broad diffuse line on the fore wing.
The larva is a looper, and the body is attenuated at each end.
D. erechtea Cramer flies very abundantly in grass lands in May
and early summer. Mr. Saunders informs me that the larva
(Fig. 247) is "one and a quarter inches long and walks
like a geometer ; the body is thickest in the middle, being
somewhat smaller towards the head, but tapering much
more posteriorly, while the head is not large and is rather
flattened in front and is pale brown, with darker longi-
tudinal lines. The body above is reddish brown, with many
longitudinal darker lines and stripes ; there is a double whitish
dorsal line, with a stripe on each side of the darker shade,
another stripe of the same hue on each side close to the stig-


en- [ 63 )

is a \ (^/


mata, and between these stripes are faint longitudinal lines.
It fed on clover and went into the chrysalis state Sept. 21st."

The two remaining genera have broad wings, and are black-
ish, with numerous transverse waved lines. The edges of the
wings are scalloped, the palpi are very long, and the head nar-
row between the eyes, thus showing their affinities to the
PJialcenidce. The species of Homoptera are of a dark ash
color. H. lunata Drury has a lunate discal spot.

Erebus is a gigantic moth, with the outer margin very
oblique and a large, incised, discal spot and sublimate margi-
nal spots. Our large, blackish species, dark as night, is Ere-
bus odora Drur}^ ; it expands about five inches. The magnifi-
cent, pale gray Erebus Agrippina Cramer (E. strix of
Fabricius) inhabits Brazil ; it expands nearly ten inches.

Latreille (Geometridce} . The Geometrids are
easily known by their slender, finely scaled bodies and broad
thin wings, which in repose are not folded roof-like over the
body, but are spread horizontally and scarcely overlap each
other. The antennae are usually pectinated. They are deli-
cate, pale, often greenish or yellowish moths, and fly more by
day than the Noctuids. The palpi are short and slender, and
the tongue, or maxillae, is weak and short.

The larvae rarely have more than ten legs, some having four-
teen, and a few (Metrocampa and Ellopia) twelve. Thus from
the absence of legs on the basal rings of the abdomen, the larvae
are loopers, or geometers, as grasping the object on which they
are walking with their fore legs, they bring the hind legs close
up to the fore legs, thus making a loop like the Greek letter
Omega. They usually let themselves clown by spinning a
silken thread, hence they are sometimes called "Drop-worms."
When about to pupate, the larva either spins a slight, loose,
silken cocoon, or conceals itself under a covering of leaves
fastened together with silk, or buries itself in the ground
without any cocoon, while Harris states that a very few fasten
themselves to the stems of plants and are changed to chrysa-
lids, which hang naked and suspended by the tail. The pupa
is long, slender, conical, generally smooth, sometimes with
lateral protuberances on the head, and usually dark brown, but


often variegated. The species, of which there are about 1,800
described, are widely distributed, and more are found in the
arctic regions than of the preceding family.

We place at the head of this family the genus Urania and
its allies. From their large size, splendid colors, swallow-
tailed wings, the fore pair of which are elongated towards the
tips, while the outer edge is very oblique, as in Papilio ; their
habit of flying by day and other resemblances to the butter-
flies Latreille placed them among the butterflies immediately
after the Ilesperians. They have also been supposed to belong
to the same group as Castnia, but the shape of the head, the
long geometriform antenna?, the palpi and the conical pupa and
other characters ally them with the Urapteryx and the higher
Phahxmidoe. Urania Le'lus is velvet black, the fore wings
crossed by emerald green striae, and the hind edge of the hind
wings are banded with light blue and golden, while the fringe
and long tail are white. It is found in Surinam and Brazil.

Ur<ij)fi'n/x is a true Geometrid, with very square hind wings
extending beyond the abdomen, with their outer margin pro-
longed into a short tail. U. politia Cramer is a yellow species
found in Mexico and the West Indies. The larva of the
European U. sdmbucaria feeds on the oak, elder, bramble,
etc., and is elongate, with projections from the eighth and
twelfth segments. The pupa is elongate and enclosed in a net-
like cocoon suspended by threads.

In Ckcerodes the hind wings are still angulated, the angle
reaching beyond the tips of the abdomen ; the falcate apex of
the fore wings is acute, and the outer margin is entire and
angulated just above the middle. The species are usually pale
ochreous, with short transverse strigse and two darker lines,
the outer one of which is obtusely angulated just before the
apex. C. tmnsversata Drury is a pale ochreous species, which
we have found resting on red maple leaves.

The genus Angerona comprises the single species A. croca-
Itii'iu Fabr., the larva of which (Plate 8, fig. 5 ) we have found
feeding on the cultivated strawberry during the last of June.
It is an inch and a half long and when at rest extends it-elf
straight out. The body gradually increases in size to the first
pair of abdominal legs. The head is flattened so as to be


square above, and whitish green, with three longitudinal brown
lines. The prothoracic ring is concolorous with the head, from
which two brown lines extend, forming an inverted V on the
hinder edge. The body is pale grass green above, with the
sides bulging. There are four minute black dots on each ring,
a whitish, indistinct subdorsal line, and a lateral white line ex-
tending to the sides of the anal legs. The body is greenish
white. The moth (Plate 8, fig. 5, male) is of a rich yellow,
with brown patches on the wings, and appears in July.

In Endropia, which is closely allied to Choerodes, the outer
edge of the wings is deeply notched. E. tigrinaria Guenee
is dirty ochreous, the wings being sprinkled with black ; the
outer line is nearly straight, ferruginous, paler within, with
some submarginal spots, and the basal line on the fore wings
is angulated, w r hile the apex is pale and margined externally
with blackish.

Metrocampa is pearly white, with the wings a little bent in
the middle. M. perlata Guen. is pure white, with two darker
oblique lines not angulated ; it is found not uncommonly north-
ward. The larva of the English M. margaritata has twelve
legs, and like Catocala has fleshy filaments on the sides just
above the legs. The pupa lives on the surface of the earth.

Ellopia has pectinated antennae and exceedingly thin trans-
parent wings, which are angulated in the middle of the outer
edge, and with an inner and outer line, the latter bent nearly
at right angles. The larva has twelve legs, but is smooth.
The English E. fasciaria feeds on firs. Ellopia flagitiaria,
Guenee is pale ashen ochreous, with the speckles and two bands
pale brown. It expands from six to eighteen lines.

In Caberodes the antenme are broadly pectinated, and the
apex of the fore wings are nearly rectangular. The species
are pale ochreous with thick wings, and the outer line termi-
nates near the apex. C. metrocamparia Guenee is common
northwards; with a blackish discal dot and outer dusky line
arcuated and margined with white.

The genus Nematocampa is characterized by the four fila-
ments on the back of the larva. N. jHamentaria Guen. (Plate
8, fig. 7 ; 7 a, larva) is a small moth of a pale ochreous color,
with reddish brown lines and dots, a ring in the discal space,

Fig. 3.

Fig. 4.

fig. :,

Fig. 15.

Fig. 7.

Fig. S.

I'l. _'.

Fig. 1.

Fig. 3. Fig. 2. Fig. 5.

' Fig. 4.

Fig. 13

PI. 4.

PI. 5.


TO"5 3503 Life Sciences Bldg. 642-2531








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FORM NO. DD A, 7m, 6'76


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 29 of 29)