|scientific name Amphipyra pyramidoides |
common name Copper Underwing
Dry deciduous forest.
In Alberta adults have been collected from the first week in August to the first week of September.
A fairly large (3.2-5.8 cm wingspan) broad-winged moth with glistening dark sooty brown forewings and copper-orange hindwings. The forewing basad to the postmedian line is darker than the terminal area. The postmedian line, the orbicular spot and to a lesser degree the antemedian line are light brown to dirty white. The antennae are simple, and the sexes are essentially alike. The large size and shining, coppery-orange unbanded hindwings will separate the Copper Underwing from all other Alberta moths.
The Copper underwing is a solitary defoliator, which feeds mainly on leaves but also is known to eat patches of skin off developing fruits. There is a single annual brood, with the adults emerging in late summer and early fall. The over wintering stage is the egg. The larvae are cream when they hatch, but turn green in the second instars. The adults are attracted to both lights and sugar baits.
A common widespread species; no concerns
No Alberta data. Elsewhere in Canada a wide variety of deciduous trees, including basswood, White Elm, White Oak, White Birch, willow, Trembling Aspen, Chokecherry, Sugar Maple, Mountain-ash, Green Ash and others (see Prentice, 1962 for complete list).
New Brunswick west across southern Canada to central British Columbia, south to the Florida, Texas and California. In Alberta, found only in riparian cottonwood groves along the river valleys in the grasslands region, north to the Red Deer River at Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Bridget Jacobs (2010-06-05)
I just collected a caterpillar (4th-6th instar) of Amphipyra pyramidoides in Southeastern South Dakota. It was feeding on wild grape leaves.
Jan Scott (2014-06-16)
I have been collecting the larvae on Virginia Creeper for the past 14 years in Medicine Hat , Alberta. I have been rearing them totally on Virginia Creeper and all have pupated and emerged as healthy moths. This species is found all over the city both in yards and along the river and in coulees.
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