copper underwing

(Amphipyra pyramidoides)

copper underwing
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  Hodges #

9638

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Copper underwing is a mid-sized owlet moth. It occurs throughout the United States and in southern Canada. It is common in Minnesota. Adults are found from July through October in forests, woodlands, and field edges. Larvae feed on the leaves of many woody trees and shrubs, including apple, basswood, blueberry, cherry, grape, greenbrier, hawthorn, hickory, lilac, maple, oak, walnut, raspberry, viburnum, Virginia creeper, and willow.

Adults are to 1 (23 to 28 mm) in length and have a wingspan of 1½ to 2116 (38 to 52 mm). The forewings are shiny and grayish-brown, and are peppered with pale, grayish-brown scales. There are four dark lines crossing each wing. From the base to the wingtip, these are an antemedial (AM) line, a postmedial (PM) line, a subterminal (ST) line, and a terminal line. The AM line is jagged and often incomplete, appearing as a row of four downward pointing chevrons. The PM line is slightly jagged and is bordered with white below. The ST line is jagged and often indistinct. The terminal line is thin and dark. The area above the PM line is darker, while the area between the PM line and the outer margin is paler. There is a round spot (orbicular spot) and a kidney-shaped spot (reniform spot) near the middle (median area) of the forewing. The orbicular spot is distinct. It is pale with a dark center and a thin black outline. The reniform spot similar but crescent-shaped, darker, and usually indistinct. The hindwings are coppery-red and unmarked. They are rarely seen except briefly when taking flight.

The legs have alternating pale and dark lines.

The antennae are slender and thread-like.

The caterpillar is plump, bluish-green, and less than 1¾ (4.5 cm) in length. It is covered with many small, scattered, yellow spots. The breathing pores (spiracles) are black and are outlined with white. There is a yellow line (spiracular stripe) running through the spiracles and continuing around the rear. The spiracular stripe is missing from the third segment of the thorax. The eighth segment of the abdomen is conspicuously humped. Mature caterpillars are found from May through June.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to 1 (23 to 28 mm)

Wingspan: 1½ to 2116 (38 to 52 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Forests, woodlands, and field edges

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation per year: July through October

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are active at night and will come to light. They rest with the wings held flat over the body. They often aggregate in groups beneath bark and in other dark, close places.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Eggs overwinter. Before pupating the larva rolls a leaf edge creating a shelter.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Leaves of many woody trees and shrubs, including apple, basswood, blueberry, cherry, grape, greenbrier, hawthorn, hickory, lilac, maple, oak, walnut, raspberry, viburnum, Virginia creeper, and willow.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 71, 72, 75, 82.

 
         
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Noctuoidea (noctuid moths)  
 

Family

Noctuidae (owlet moths)  
 

Subfamily

Amphipyrinae  
 

Tribe

Amphipyrini  
 

Genus

Amphipyra  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

copper underwing

rearhumped caterpillar

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Antemedial (AM) line

A thin line separating the basal area and the median area of the forewing of Lepidoptera.

 

Orbicular spot

A circular spot or outline in the outer median area on the forewing of many moths.

 

Postmedial (PM) line

A thin line separating the median area and the postmedial area of the forewing of Lepidoptera.

 

Reniform spot

A kidney-shaped spot or outline in the outer median area on the forewing of many moths.

 

Spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  copper underwing   copper underwing
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

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slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Copper Underwing Moth Larva Locomotion (Amphipyra Pyramidoides)
WeAreLivingMagic
 
   
 
About

Apr 20, 2020

Originally planned to title the video "Green Caterpillar" but then I thought, "Why not learn the exact species of this insect?" So, I learned something new today.

Search the species name to find images of its final form.

Music:
Lucid Dreamer - Spazz Cardigan

   
       
  Copper Underwing Moth (Noctuidae: Amphipyra pyramidoides) on Wall
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Aug 5, 2010

Photographed at Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (04 August 2010). Go here to view the view the larval/caterpillar stage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snNg4CmeX6k

   
       
  Copper Underwing Moth (Noctuidae: Amphipyra pyramidoides) Dorsal View
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Aug 27, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (27 August 2011). Thanks to Libby, Rick, and Nina (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity of this specimen!

   
       
  Caterpillar of the Copper Underwing or Pyramidal Green Fruitworm (Amphipyra pyramidea)
Michael Billerbeck
 
   
 
About

Jun 1, 2017

Caterpillar of the Copper Underwing, Humped Green Fruitworm, or Pyramidal Green Fruitworm (Amphipyra pyramidea) / Raupe der Pyramideneule

29.05.2017, 12.00
Hamburg, Wildgehege Klövensteen

Camera: Panasonic Lumix GH5
Lens / Objektiv: Panasonic Lumix LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400 mm F4.0-6,3 (H-RS100400)

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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Alfredo Colon
Summer 2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

copper underwing


 
         
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Created: 12/18/2020

Last Updated:

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