|scientific name Tolype laricis |
common name Larch Lappet Moth
It occurs in coniferous and mixedwood forest.
Adults in late summer, and mature caterpillars are present mainly in July and August.
A medium size (approx. 3.0 cm wingspan) blue-grey, black and white moth, the body clothed in long soft wooly hair-like scales except for the central part of the dorsal thorax, which is clothed in shorter, curly dark scales. Males have stubby dark lead-grey semi-translucent wings that reflect iridescence under strong lighting. Forewings crossed by rather faint poorly defined doubled white antemedian and postmedian lines, a single thin wavy subterminal line and a thin white terminal line. The hindwings are dark grey. Females are larger and much paler, mostly white with pale gray markings. The male antennae are strongly bipectinate, females narrowly so. The Larch lappet moth is unlikely to be mistaken for any other Alberta moth.
Adults are nocturnal and come to light. There is a single generation per year, with adults in late summer. The egg overwinters.
Larvae feed on many species of conifers, including balsam fir, eastern hemlock, eastern larch, pines, and spruces, but show a preference for white spruce and balsam fir (Prentice, 1963).
Nova Scotia west to BC. The only Alberta record is an old report of a larval collection by FIDS in the Drayton Valley region (Prentice, 1963). It appears to be much more common in the east than in the west.
The old Prentice report is presumably a larval collection, and we have not been able to locate the specimen.
The adults illustrated above are from the Moths of Canada website.
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