lesser maple spanworm moth

(Macaria pustularia)

               
Hodges #

6273

lesser maple spanworm moth

 

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

One generation per year: June to August

 

 

    Photo by Luciearl
Habitat

Deciduous and mixed woodlands and adjacent shrublands and thickets

Size

Wingspan: 1116 to 1 (18 to 28 mm)

 
 
Identification

Lesser maple spanworm moth is a white, small to medium-sized, typical geometer moth. It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains and in adjacent Canadian provinces. It is common in eastern Minnesota. It is found in deciduous and mixed woodlands and adjacent shrublands and thickets. Larvae feed on the leaves of mostly maple, especially red maple, but also on birch, cherry, poplar, fir, hemlock, and tamarack. Adults are active from June to August.

Adults are white, have a slender body, and have broad wings with a wingspan of 1116 to 1 (18 to 28 mm). The sense organs attached to the mouth (palpi) are long and beak-like. They extend forward beyond the eyes. On the male, the antennae are feather-like, with branches on both sides of most segments. On the female they are thread-like, with no branches. The forewings have broken, orangish-brown, antemedial (AM), median, postmedial (PM), and subterminal (ST) lines. Each line widens into a spot at the leading (costal) margin. The PM line is the most complete and continues onto the hindwing. On some individuals only the spots on the costal margin are visible.

The caterpillar about ¾ long and green with white or yellowish lines.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

Leaves of mostly maple, especially red maple, but also birch, cherry, poplar fir, hemlock, and tamarack.

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

Adults are active at night and will come to lights. The wings are held flat when at rest.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 27, 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:

Geometroidea (inchworm moths)

 

Family:

Geometridae (geometer moths)

 

Subfamily:

Ennominae (typical geometers)

 

Tribe:

Macariini

 

Genus:

Macaria

   
 

This species was first classified as Itame pustularia then Macaria pustularia. In 2008 it was moved to the genus Speranza, then moved back to the genus Macaria in 2015.

 
Synonyms

Itame pustularia

Speranza pustularia

 
Common
Names

lesser maple spanworm (caterpillar)

lesser maple spanworm moth (adult)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.

 

Palp

Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and weapons in scorpions. Plural: palpi.

       
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Luciearl
       

Butterfly/moth on basil leaf. About 1/2" in size.

  lesser maple spanworm moth   lesser maple spanworm moth
       
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  Macaria
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  Macaria  
 
About

Family: Geometridae
Subfamily: Ennominae
Tribe: Macariini
Genus: Macaria

- Macaria (angle)
- Macaria aemulataria (Common Angle)
- Macaria bicolorata (Bicolored Angle)
- Macaria bisignata (Red-headed Inchworm)
- Macaria minorata (Minor Angle)
- Macaria pustularia (Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth)

 
     

 

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Luciearl
7/12/2020

Location: Cass County

lesser maple spanworm moth


 
         
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Created: 9/28/2020

Last Updated:

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