Robin’s carpenterworm

(Prionoxystus robiniae)

               
Hodges #

2693

Robin's carpenterworm
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread but uncommon

Flight/Season

May through July

Habitat

Deciduous and mixed forests, hardwood shelterbelts.

Size

Wingspan: 17 16 to 3

Total Length: 11 16 to 1¾

   
    Photo by Bill Reynolds

Identification

This is a medium-sized moth but a very large micromoth. It is similar in size and appearance to a sphinx moth and is often misidentified as one. Adults are 11 16 to 1¾ long with a wingspan of 17 16 to 3. The female is much larger than the male.

The body is heavy. The abdomen extends well beyond the hindwings.

The forewings on the female are more or less triangular and rounded at the tip. They are pale gray and semi-translucent with a dense, net-like overlay of thin, dark lines and, in the basal and median areas, wider lines that fill in the blank areas creating dark blotches. They have an accessory cell and 2 anal veins that are complete, extending from the base to the margin. Some of the veins branching off of the “R” vein are stalked. The forewings of the male are similar but narrower and more pointed at the tip. The hindwings of the female are as wide as the forewings but much shorter. They are similar in color to the forewings but with a less distinct overlay of thin lines and no wider lines. They have 3 anal veins. The hindwings of the male are similar in shape, black from the base to the median area, bright yellowish-orange from the median area to the submarginal area, and bordered with a thin black marginal line. The hindwings and forewings are held in contact by bristles (a frenulum) and scales (a retinaculum).

The head is gray. There are no mouth parts and no hearing organs. The antennae on the male are feathery, with extensions along both sides of the central axis (bipectinate). On the female the antennae are thread-like.

The legs are black with white bands. There is a large spine (spur) at the tip of the fourth leg segment (tibia).

The caterpillar is 2 to 2¾ long. It may be greenish-white with a dark brown head and thoracic shield, or pinkish with scattered dark spots and a reddish-brown head and thoracic shield.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Hosts

Ash, black locust, oak, poplar, and willow

 
Adult Food

Adults do not feed

 
Life Cycle

The female lays eggs singly or in groups in the crevices of the bark of a host tree. After hatching, the caterpillars feed by boring into the cambium layer of the tree. This creates galleries and tunnels under the outer bark that decrease the value of the wood and can sometimes kill the tree. Wood has little nutritional value. As a result, the caterpillar takes 3 or 4 years to complete its life cycle. It pupates in the spring of its final year and emerges as an adult between May and July.

 
Behavior

Adults are attracted to light.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 29, 75.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Apoditrysia

 

Superfamily:

Cossoidea

 

Family:

Cossidae

 

Subfamily:

Cossinae

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

carpenterworm

carpenterworm moth

locust borer

Robin’s carpenterworm


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

frenulum

A spine (male) or multiple spines (female) at the base of the costal edge of the hindwing of many moths that couples with the retinaculum on the forewing to keep the wings in contact which each other.

 

tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Bill Reynolds


  Robin’s carpenterworm   Robin’s carpenterworm

       
       
       

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Slideshows

   
  Prionoxystus robiniae (Robin's Carpenterworm)
Allen Chartier
 
  Prionoxystus robiniae (Robin's Carpenterworm)  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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  Robin's carpenterworm (Prionoxystus robiniae)
Bill Reynolds
 
   
 
About

Published on Dec 18, 2015

The first two images, if you notice, the wings are blurred and the back end. It is vibrating it's muscle and getting ready for take off. The video is the … moth revving up.

Location: Pennington Co., MN

Video by Bill Reynolds

http://minnesotaseasons.com/Insects/Robins_carpenterworm.html

 
     
     

Other Videos

 
  Carpenterworm Moth (Cossidae: Prionoxystus robiniae) on Wall
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 21, 2011

Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (21 June 2011). Thank you to Maury Heiman (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity of this specimen!

 
     
  You're Just Too Good To Be True...Can't Take My Eyes Off You...
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 24, 2011

A Crab Spider (Xysticus) sizes up a Carpenterworm Moth (Prionoxystus). ;-) Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (24 June 2011).

 
     
  Robin's Carpenterworm Moth (Cossidae: Perionoxystus robiniae) Lateral View
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 2, 2012

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (02 June 2012).

 
     
  Carpenter Moth (Cossidae: Prionoxstus)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 7, 2010

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (06 June 2010).

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

Bill Reynolds
6/22/2015

Location: Pennington Co

… the wings are blurred [on] the back end. It is vibrating it's muscle and getting ready for take off.

Robin’s carpenterworm


     
     
 

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