speckled green fruitworm moth

(Orthosia hibisci)

               
Hodges #

10495

speckled green fruitworm moth

 

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread and abundant

Flight/Season

One generation per year: late March to late May

Habitat

Deciduous forests and woodlands, parks, fruit orchards

Photo by Alfredo Colon
Size

Total Length: ¾ to (20 to 23 mm)

Wingspan: 1¼ to 1 (32 to 42 mm)

 
 
Identification

Speckled green fruitworm moth is an early season, medium-sized owlet moth. It occurs throughout the United States and southern Canada. It has been reported in every state except Florida. It is common in Minnesota. Adults are found from late March to late May in deciduous woodlands and forests, parks, and fruit orchards. It is one of the first adult moths to emerge in the spring. Mature larvae (caterpillars) are active from late March to late May on the early growth of a wide variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, including alder, apple, ash, autumn olive, cherry, chokecherry, crabapple, elm, gooseberry, hickory, maple, oak, plum, poplar, and willow. It has also been found on spruce.

Adults are ¾ to (20 to 23 mm) long and have a wingspan of 1¼ to 1 (32 to 42 mm).

The forewing is grayish-brown with distinct lines and spots and little to a moderate amount of brown or reddish-brown mottling. They are sparsely to moderately peppered with dark scales. There is a circular spot in the median area (orbicular spot) and a kidney-shaped spot at the end of the discal cell (reniform spot). Both spots are large, bordered with white, and the same color as the ground in the center. The reniform spot has a conspicuous black spot in the inner half. There is no wedge-shaped spot near the inner margin (claviform spot). There are several dark wavy lines, including the basal line in the basal area; the antemedial (AM) line between the basal and median areas; the median line which passes through the median area; the postmedial (PM) line that separates the median area from the postmedial area; the terminal line at the outer margin; and the subterminal (ST) line, between the PM line and the terminal line. The basal line is reddish-brown but is usually covered by the a tuft of hairs on the top of the thorax. The AM line is reddish-brown and broadly curved downward. It is sometimes indistinct or even absent. The median line is broad, dark in the center, and diffuse on the edges. It is strongly curved downward in the middle into the reniform spot and upward approaching the inner and leading (costal) margin. The PM line is scalloped and consists of a series of dark dots. The ST line is conspicuous, thin, pale, and slightly curved downward in the middle. The terminal line consists of a line of black dots, one at the end of each cell. The fringe is dark.

The hindwings are grayish-brown with a dark discal spot. They are sparsely to moderately peppered with dark scales. The fringe is pale.

The head and thorax are the same color as the forewings. On the upper side of the thorax there is a tuft of hairs that is variably light, dark, or light grading to dark. The antennae are threadlike on both the male and the female.

Late stage (instar) caterpillars are 13 16 to 19 16 long and light green or bluish-green. They have abundant creamy-white speckling; a broad, white, continuous, longitudinal stripe down the middle (middorsal stripe) bordered with thin, medium green lines; and a thin, broken, white line in the subdorsal area on each side. The breathing pores (spiracles) are pale with very thin black rims. A conspicuous white line runs above the spiracles on the first through seventh abdominal segments (A1 through A7) and below the spiracles on A8 and the first segment of the thorax (T1). The head is pale green and unmarked except for a pale crescent running through each eye.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

Early growth of a wide variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, including alder, apple, ash, autumn olive, cherry, chokecherry, crabapple, elm, gooseberry, hickory, maple, oak, plum, poplar, and willow. It has also been found on spruce.

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

Pupa overwinter

 
Behavior

Adults are active at night and will come to lights.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

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

 
Comments

 

 
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:

Noctuinae (cutworms or dart moths)

 

Tribe:

Orthosiini

 

Genus:

Orthosia

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

green fruitworm

speckled green fruitworm (caterpillar)

speckled green fruitworm moth (adult)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Instar

The developmental stage of arthropods between each molt; in insects, the developmental stage of the larvae or nymph.

 

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.

 

Spiracle

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

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  speckled green fruitworm moth    
       
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Other Videos
 
  Speckled Green Fruitworm Moth (Noctuidae: Orthosia hibisci)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Apr 18, 2011

Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (18 April 2011). Go here to learn more about this species: http://tfrec.cahnrs.wsu.edu/

   
       
  Speckled Green Fruitworm Moth (Noctuidae: Orthosia hibisci)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

May 1, 2010

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (30 April 2010).

   
       
  Speckled Green Fruit-worm ~ Orthosia hibisci (Guenée)
Augmuse
 
   
 
About

Jun 2, 2014

Life history

There is one generation per year. The speckled green fruit-worm overwinters as a pupa in the soil. Adults emerge from March to May and lay eggs on tree leaves. Larvae begin to hatch in April and climb to the tips of limbs and spurs where they feed and grow. They prefer fruiting spurs and often conceal themselves by webbing the leaves together with silk. They feed at first on buds, then later on flowers, leaves and fruit. In summer, mature larvae drop to the ground and burrow into the soil to pupate.

Life stages

Speckled green fruitworm larva (F. Howell)

Egg: The egg is pale gray when first laid. It is spherical with a flat base where it is cemented to the plant. It has 40 to 48 ribs and is 1/30 inch (0.8 mm) in diameter. After a day or two, purple blotches appear around the micropyle and the shoulder.

Larva: The larva develops through six instars and measures between 1 and 1-2/3 inches (25 to 41 mm) long when mature. It is green with five white stripes the length of the body (Figure 63). The head is brown at first but gradually turns green.

Adult: The adult is a nondescript, reddish-brown moth about 3/4 inch (19 mm) long.

   
       

 

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Alfredo Colon
Summer 2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

speckled green fruitworm moth


     
     
 
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Created: 12/16/2019

Last Updated:

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