Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Zanclognatha was lumped with the Eurasian genus Polypogon by Poole (1989), then split from Polypogon by Fibiger & Hacker (1991), and reinstated as a valid genus by Poole again (1996). The recent European checklist by Nowacki & Fibiger (1998) treats both Zanclognatha and Polypogon as valid genera, and Lafontaine & Troubridge (in press, July 2005) recommend retaining Zanclognatha as a separate genus, based on structural differences listed under "Identification" and "See also" sections below.
species are found in America north of Mexico.(1)
12 species in eastern Canada (CBIF
5 species in western Canada (CBIF
uniformly-colored wings range from pale to dark; several species have a thin straight line running from wingtip to wingtip - a Zanclognatha trait; at rest, the triangular forewings are held flat in a swept-back position with the inner margins touching, giving the moth a "stealth bomber" appearance
labial palpi of Zanclognatha species are upturned with the apical segment slender and blade-like; male antenna has distinctive swelling or "knot" of enlarged scales and/or segments characteristic of many herminiine genera; antenna is slightly bead-like with a long seta on each side of each segment; tarsus is reduced with the apical segments projecting out from under the tibial hood; male valve has one or two additional processes projecting from the dorsal margin of the valve [adapted from Lafontaine & Troubridge, 2005]
represented coast to coast in North America but most species concentrated in the east
usually found in wooded areas on or near the forest floor
adults fly from May to September
individuals fly weakly a short distance when flushed, and if approached slowly will usually remain stationary; due to low light levels in the forest and intervening leaves and twigs, getting acceptable photos can be a challenge.
For more information on Zanclognatha go to
The Eurasian genus Polypogon differs from Zanclognatha in the following ways: labial palpi directed forward (rather than upturned) with ragged fringe of scales on dorsal surface of apical segment; male antenna bipectinate and lacks "knot" of enlarged scales; male valve bilobed with lightly sclerotized dorsal lobe and tapered ventral lobe; uncus relatively simple (laterally flattened near base but more inflated toward tip, with an apical spine); vesica has many pouches and is covered with patches of conical spines [adapted from Lafontaine & Troubridge, 2005]
Fibiger, M., and H. Hacker. 1991. Systematic list of the Noctuidae of Europe. Esperiana, 2: 1-109.
Lafontaine, D., and J. Troubridge. 2005. Taxonomic notes on North American Noctuidae 2: The Polypogon group of genera. (in press, July 2005)
Nowacki, J., and M. Fibiger. 1998. Noctuidae. pp. 251-293. In Karsholt, O., and J. Razowski. The Lepidoptera of Europe. A distributional checklist. 380 pp. Stenstrup: Apollo Books.
Poole, R.W. 1989. Lepidopterorum Catalogus (New Series).
Fascicle 118 Noctuidae, Parts 1–3: xii + 1-1314. New York: E.J. Brill.(2)
Poole, R. W. 1996. Nomina Insecta Nearctica. A Checklist of the Insects of North America. Volume 3: Diptera, Lepidoptera, Siphonaptera. E.I.S., Rockville, MD. 1143 pp.
pinned adult images
of the 12 species in eastern Canada (CBIF)
pinned adult images
of the 5 species in western Canada (CBIF)