ragwort stem borer moth

(Papaipema insulidens)

               
Hodges #

9488

ragwort stem borer moth

 

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Late summer and fall

Habitat

Wetlands, riparian areas, forests, open areas

Photo by Alfredo Colon
Size

Total Length: 11 16 (18 mm)

Wingspan: 1¼ to 17 16 (32 to 37 mm)

 
 
Identification

Ragwort stem borer moth is a mid-sized owlet moth. There are two unconnected populations in North America. The eastern population extends from Maine to Minnesota south to North Carolina and Nebraska and includes adjacent Canadian provinces. The western population is in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The species is common within its range, uncommon in Minnesota where it is at the northwest extent of the range of the eastern population. It is found in the late summer and fall mostly in wetlands and alongside rivers and streams, but also in forests, open areas, and disturbed sites.

Adults are 11 16 (18 mm) long and have a wingspan of 1¼ to 17 16 (32 to 37 mm). The forewing is to ¾ (16 to 20 mm) long, broadly triangular, and slightly hooked at the tip. Dark areas transition smoothly (grade) into adjacent light areas. The dark areas reddish-orange, the light areas are yellow or cream-colored. The ground color is mostly reddish-orange. The basal area, the wing tip, the basal half of the inner margin, and a narrow patch on the leading (costal) margin are pale. The subterminal area is purplish-gray. The antemedial (AM) line is indistinct. The median line is reddish-brown to dark brown and undulating. The postmedial (PM) line is dark brown, smooth, and broadly curved. The terminal line is dark reddish-brown and thin. The fringe is dark purplish-gray. There is a circular spot in the median area (orbicular spot), a circular spot between the orbicular spot and the inner margin (claviform spot), and a kidney-shaped spot at the end of the discal cell (reniform spot). The orbicular spot is white with a thin, dark reddish-brown outline and a dark spot in the center. The claviform spot is large and white but broken into three small spots with dark brown outlines. The reniform spot is white with a thin, dark reddish-brown outline, a yellow to reddish-brown crescent in the center, and dark reddish-brown veins. The hindwings are light yellowish-gray tinged with reddish and gray.

The antennae are slender and thread-like on the female, bead-like on the male.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

Various plants in the Apiaceae (carrot) family, including spotted water hemlock, purplestem angelica, and hemlock water-parsnip.

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

The eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring. The larvae pupate in the summer and emerge as adults in late summer.

 
Behavior

Adults are active at night and will come to lights, but they do not wander far from wetlands.

Caterpillars bore into the roots, underground stems (rhizomes), and aerial stems of host plants and are rarely seen.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

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

 
Comments

What’s in a Name?
The common name refers to this species being found on tansy ragwort in the Northwest.

Common? … or Not?
According to NatureServe, the status of this species has yet to be determined. It is much less common than its host plants.

Taxonomy
There have been three major revisions of the family Noctuidae since 2006, each placing the genus Papaipema in a different subfamily, Amphipyrinae, Hadeninae, and Noctuinae. All three subfamilies are used for this genus by various authors.

This species was classified as Hydroecia insulidens when it was first described in 1902. The name was changed in 1908 to Gortyna birdi and in 1920 to Papaipema pertincta. In 2015 Papaipema pertincta was given the status of synonym of Papaipema insulidens. Another synonym is Papaipema birdi.

 
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/Hadeninae/Noctuinae

 

Tribe:

Apameini

 

Genus:

Papaipema

 
Synonyms

Gortyna birdi

Papaipema birdi

Papaipema pertincta

 
Common
Names

ragwort stem borer moth

umbellifer borer moth

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 inner median area on the forewing of many moths in the Noctuidae family.

 

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 near the costal margin on the forewing of many moths of the Noctuidae family.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   
Share your photo of this moth.
 

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

       
Alfredo Colon
       
  ragwort stem borer moth    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
     
     
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
   
Share your video of this moth.
   

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more videos or YouTube links and, if you like, a caption.

       
Other Videos
 
       
       
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
Report a sighting of this moth.
 
This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

Alfredo Colon
Summer 2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

ragwort stem borer moth


     
     
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
         

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 12/9/2019

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2020 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.