|scientific name Acossus populi |
common name Aspen Carpenterworm
Mature woodland with poplar, in particular Trembling aspen, and especially near wetlands.
Adults have been collected in Alberta from mid-June through late July.
A rather large (5.0-6.8 cm wingspan) heavy-bodied light grey moth. The thorax is grey, with a narrow white band bordered by black at the anterior and posterior edges, and the abdomen is dull grey. Forewings are dirty white, crossed by a network of fine dark grey broken lines. Two or more of these lines in the median area are usually darker, more prominent and often partly joined. The fringe is checkered grey and black, with black scales marking the veins. Hindwings are grey with a net of fine black lines as in the forewings. The antennae are narrowly bipectinate in males and serrate in females.
The similar Poplar Carpenterworm (A. centerensis) has two-toned forewings with the basal half much darker, and poorly marked white hindwings. Females of the Carpenterworm (P. robiniae) are similar, but have grey blotches on the forewings, and males have large yellow-orange splotches in the anal area of the hindwings.
There is little information available on the life history of the Aspen Carpenterworm. Like our other carpenterworm species, the larvae are borers and live in galleries they create in the trunks and stems of poplar trees. The closely related Carpenterworm takes three to four years to complete the life cycle, and it is likely that the Aspen Carpenterworm also takes several years to mature. Adults are usually collected at light. Although the larval burrows can damage the host trees, they are considered to be of no economic concern.
A widespread species; no concerns.
No Alberta data. Elsewhere reported to be a borer in poplars (Populus sp.).
Transcontinental. Widespread in Alberta. The Aspen Carpenterworm has been collected in the Boreal forest north to Zama, south in the Parklands to Tolman Bridge Recreation Area, and throughout the Foothills and Mountain regions, from Jasper National Park to the Waterton - Crowsnest area.
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