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Species Page - Paleacrita vernata
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scientific name    Paleacrita vernata    

common name     Spring Cankerworm

habitat
Possibly restricted to prairie shrubland or grasslands riparian forest.

seasonality
Flies during in early spring, the single Alberta record is for April 29th.

identification
This nondescript, delicate geometrid moth is most similar to, although not closely related to, species of Operophtera, which fly in late fall. The forewing is a uniform grey to slightly mottled, with the transverse bands obscure or reduced to dark patches along the forewing costa. The slightly paler hindwing has a faint discal spot. Females are wingless.

life history
The eggs are laid in clusters of 100 to 250 in bark crevices, and do not hatch until bud break, occasionally as much as 51 days later. Larvae feed on young foliage and are mature by late July, at which point they burrow several inches into the soil and form a hibernation chamber, pupating in late winter (McGuffin 1977, Wagner et al. 2001).

conservation
Limited distribution in Alberta but widespread (sometimes a pest) elsewhere.

diet info
A large variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, particularly maples, elms, birches and cherry (McGuffin 1977).

range
Atlantic seaboard west to Alberta, Texas and California. Sporadic in the southern part of the Prairie Provinces (McGuffin 1977).

quick link
http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=4466



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References (2)
Specimen Info
There are 1 specimens of this species in the online database
Map Distribution
Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (1)
Related Links
Moth Photographers Group

 

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