dark-spotted palthis

(Palthis angulalis)

               
Hodges #

8397

dark-spotted palthis

 

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common in Minnesota

Flight/Season

Two generations per year: May through August

Habitat

Deciduous and mixed forests and woodlands

Size

Total Length: 1116 (18 mm)

Wingspan: ¾ to 1 (20 to 26 mm)

          Photo by Alfredo Colon
 
Identification

Dark-spotted palthis is a medium-sized litter moth. It occurs across the United States and southern Canada, and in Mexico. It is common in Minnesota. Adults are found from May through August in deciduous and mixed forests. Larvae feed on both living and dead leaves of deciduous and coniferous shrubs and trees, including alder, ash, basswood, birch, willow, pine, and spruce; and of forbs, including aster and goldenrod.

Adults are roughly triangular in shape, are 1116 (18 mm) in length, and have a ¾ to 1 (20 to 26 mm) wingspan.

The forewings are long and strongly angled on the outer margin, making the outer third distinctly longer than the inner third. They are light tan and are crossed with dark lines and bands. From the wing base to the tip there is an antemedial (AM) line, a median band, a postmedial (PM) line, a subterminal (ST) line, and a terminal line. The AM line is is narrow and jagged. The median band is broad, oblique, and usually dark brown, sometimes orangish-brown. It strongly curves up near the inner margin. It does not reach either the AM line or the leading (costal) margin. The PM and ST lines are jagged. The ST line is often incomplete and sometimes inconspicuous. The terminal line is thin. There is a kidney-shaped spot (reniform spot) above the PM line near the outer (costal) margin. The reniform spot is crescent-shaped, slanting, and dark brown. It is solid, sometimes with an orangish-brown center, but not interrupted with a white line. There is no round spot (orbicular spot) in the median area. At the wing tip (apex) on the costal margin there is a rusty-brown outer patch and a yellow inner patch.

On the male, the finger-like sensory organs (palps) attached to the mouth are very long, densely hairy, projected forward, and turned upward at the tip.

The caterpillar is mottled brown and small, up to ¾ (2 cm) in length. It is densely covered with minute white spines. There is a low hump on the first abdominal segment (A1) and an angled hump on A8. On A7 there is an oblique white line that continues up the hump on A8, sometimes changing to black on A8. There is a similar but less conspicuous line on A1, A2, and A3 that continue onto A2, A3, and A4 respectively. Mature caterpillars are found from June through fall.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

Living and dead leaves of deciduous and coniferous shrubs and trees, including alder, ash, basswood, birch, willow, pine, and spruce; and of forbs including aster and goldenrod.

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 29, 30, 71, 72, 75, 82.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Noctuoidea (noctuid moths)

 

Family:

Erebidae

 

Subfamily:

Herminiinae (litter moths)

 

Genus:

Palthis

   
 

This genus and species was formerly included in the family Arctiidae. A molecular phylogenetic study on the noctuid moths (Superfamily Noctuidea) published in 2005 clarified the relationships of the noctuid moths and resulted in a reshuffling of the families and subfamilies. The current classification places this genus and species in the family Erebidae.

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

dark-spotted palthis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Antemedial (AM) line

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

 

Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  dark-spotted palthis    
       
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  Palthis
Bill Keim
 
  Palthis  
 
About

Family: Erebidae
Subfamily: Herminiinae
Genus: Palthis

- Palthis (palthis moth)
- Palthis angulalis (Dark-spotted Palthis Moth)
- Palthis asopialis (Faint-spotted Palthis Moth)

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Palthis angulalis
wetvideocamera
 
   
 
About

Jul 7, 2014

The Dark-spotted Palthis Moth. Seen high on a wall and videoed with a monopod. Burnaby, BC July 7, 2014

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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Alfredo Colon
8/19/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

dark-spotted palthis


 
         
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Created: 12/16/2020

Last Updated:

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