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Genus Lithophane - Pinions

Dowdy Pinion? - Lithophane unimoda Caterpillar on Oak 1 - Lithophane caterpillar - Lithophane Ɽ - Lithophane Caterpillar sharing oak leaves with sawfly larvae - Lithophane antennata Lithophane?? - Lithophane Lithophane Lithophane,  bethunei maybe, dorsal - Lithophane
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea
Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Noctuinae (Cutworm or Dart Moths)
Tribe Xylenini
Subtribe Xylenina
Genus Lithophane (Pinions)
Numbers
Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) listed 52 Lithophane species in America north of Mexico.(1)
3 species were described in 2006 by Jim Troubridge (see PDF doc)
Identification
Adult: forewing usually gray to brownish with indistinct lines; live individuals at rest have an obvious and characteristic "square-shouldered" appearance

Larva: body usually green or grayish with variable pale or dark markings (see live images of 25 species by Lafontaine et al at CBIF)
Range
much of North America south of the arctic but most species are restricted to northern United States and southern Canada
Habitat
mixed and deciduous forests and woodlots; adults are nocturnal and come to light and bait
Season
adults fly in spring and fall
In Canada, these are winter moths; they emerge in September and October, fly for a month, then hibernate and fly again in March and April. Larvae feed in spring and summer, pupate, and emerge as moths in the fall. [Tony Thomas]
Food
larvae of most species feed on leaves of broadleaved trees and shrubs; a few species feed on conifers such as cedar (in L. thujae) and juniper (in L. boogeri); some larvae may also feed on other caterpillars, including their own siblings
They have been observed to feed on winter moth caterpillars and sawfly larvae (Sam Jaffe's observation, here, also B. Moisset, here)
Life Cycle
overwinters as an adult; one generation per year
Print References
Troubridge, J.T. 2006. Three new species of Lithophane Hubner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Xyleninae). Zootaxa 1284: 61-68. Magnolia Press. - available in PDF format
Internet References
adult image thumbnails of 24 species occurring in eastern Canada (CBIF)
adult image thumbnails of 22 species occurring in western Canada (CBIF)
pinned adult images of 24 species by Jim Vargo (Moth Photographers Group)
live larva images of 25 species (Lafontaine et al, CBIF)
distribution and foodplants; PDF doc of 11 species, plus seasonality and remarks (David Wagner et al, Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America, U. of Connecticut)
distribution in Canada of 30 species, listing provinces of occurrence for each (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .