Species Cisseps fulvicollis - Yellow-collared Scape Moth - Hodges#8267
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Species fulvicollis (Yellow-collared Scape Moth - Hodges#8267)
Other Common Names
Orange-collared Scape Moth (Moths of North Dakota
) - a more appropriate name than "Yellow-collared", as the vast majority of individuals have an orange collar
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Scepsis packardii Grote, 1865
Cisseps packardii (Grote, 1865)
Scepsis matthewi H. Edwards, 1873
Scepsis packardii cocklei Dyar, 1904
Cisseps wrightii (Stretch, 1885)
Explanation of Names
Cisseps fulvicollis (Hübner, )
Adult: FW dark brown or black; collar orange, occasionally yellow; thorax black; abdomen black, sometimes with blue iridescence; antennae pectinate. HW black with large translucent patch in discal area; translucent patch may appear pale grayish, bluish or white, depending on lighting. Often confused with Virginia Ctenucha and Grapeleaf Skeletonizer [see distinguishing features of those species in See Also section below]
Larva: hairy, whitish or pale yellow, with tufts of long hair springing from oval or round spots along body; hairs near head longer, usually blackish and projecting forward beyond front of head; head yellow to brownish-orange with black spots on face; dark dorsal and dorsolateral lines along body (may be obscured by hair)
Fields with flowers. Adults commonly seen visiting flowers during the day; adults also fly at night, and are attracted to light.
Adults fly from May to October or first hard frost.
Larvae feed on grasses, lichens, and spike-rushes (Eleocharis spp.).
Adults take nectar from goldenrod, etc.
1. Eggs, 2. caterpillar, 3. cocoon, 4. pupa (with cocoon removed) 5. Adult, 6. mating pair
Cisseps fulvicollis and Ctenucha virginica are probably Batesian mimics of wasps or perhaps distasteful beetles.
Many of these moths were shot feeding on Eupatorium spp., a genus rich in pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) which are toxic to most predators.
The most fascinating example of tiger moth usage of PAs is by the Scarlet-bodied Wasp Moth (Cosmosoma myrodora)
, for details, see:
Conner, W.E , R. Boada, F.C. Schroeder., A. Gonzàlez, J. Meinwald, & T. Eisner. 2001. Chemical defense: bestowal of a nuptial alkaloidal garment by a male moth upon its mate
. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97(26):14406-14411.
Adult Grapeleaf Skeletonizer
) abdomen is usually curled upwards and expanded at the tip into a fan-shaped, somewhat bilobed caudal tuft
Adult Virginia Ctenucha
) is larger, has blue iridescence on the thorax, completely black hindwings with no translucent patch, and does not occur in the southeastern United States (compare images
of both species).
summarizes identification of these moths thus: It seems to me the shape of the yellow "collar" is a good distinction. In Ctenucha
it is narrower at the nape and then spreads down to the shoulders (excuse ignorance of a better technical term). In Cisseps
it goes almost straight across forming a neat line, and in Harrisina
the line is blurred.
Compare also the tiny Clemens' False Skeletonizer
Brimley, p. 266--Cisseps fulvicollis (1)
Comstock, J. A. 1937. Miscellaneous notes on western Lepidoptera. Southern California Acad. Sci. 36(3): 111-114
Covell, p. 75, plate 11 #12 (2)
Grote, A.R., 1865. Descriptions of North American Lepidoptera - No. 6. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia
Himmelman, p. 188, plate C-3, compares Ctenucha
and Cisseps (3)
Lafontaine, J. Donald and B. Christian Schmidt. 2015. Additions and corrections to the check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico III. ZooKeys 527: 127–147 (available here
- John Himmelman, Connecticut
- Dalton State College, Georgia
live larva image
- David Wagner, Discover Life, U. of Georgia
|1.||Insects of North Carolina|
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
|2.||Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths|
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
|4.||Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands|
Jeffrey Miller, Paul Hammond. 2000. USDA Forest Service, FHTET-98-18.