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Species Cissusa spadix - Black-dotted Brown Moth - Hodges#8592

Black-dotted Brown Moth - Cissusa spadix defoliating caterpillar on oak - Cissusa spadix Hodges #8592 - Black-dotted Brown Moth - Cissusa spadix  Black-dotted Brown Moth - Cissusa spadix Cissusa spadix Moth to porch light  - Cissusa spadix Pennsylvania Moth - Cissusa spadix ?Phoberia - Cissusa spadix
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Erebinae
Tribe Melipotini
Genus Cissusa
Species spadix (Black-dotted Brown Moth - Hodges#8592)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cissusa spadix (Cramer, [1780])
Phalaena spadix Cramer, [1780]
Panula remigipila Guenée, 1852
Taeniocampa vegeta Morrison, 1876
* phylogenetic sequence #930864
Explanation of Names
Specific name spadix is Greek meaning "brown." (1)
Four Cissusa species are found in North America north of Mexico. (2)
Wingspan 3-4.1 cm (Coyle et. al, 2013).
Larva to 4.5 cm. (3)
Adult - overall forewing color varies from light to very dark.
Larva - see Coyle et. al, 2013 (fig.1c, p.83) in Print References or consult Wagner et al., 2011.
Arizona to Florida and north to Ontario and Quebec. Note: All records from Arizona, southern New Mexico and western-southwestern Texas most likely are of an undescribed species (Jan Metlevski) ((4), (5)
Adults first appear in spring just before bud break on oak trees (Coyle et. al, 2013).
Larval hosts are oaks, red oak (Quercus rubra L.) and white oak (Quercus alba L,) preferred (Coyle et. al, 2013).
Life Cycle
Adults appear high in the tree canopy in spring before oak trees bud. Eggs are likely laid near the buds. Caterpillars hide during the day beneath bark or in leaf litter near the host tree. In the evening they migrate up the tree en masse to feed on new leaves. Pupation occurs in the soil or leaf litter. Adults emerge the following spring. Larvae are heavily predated by squirrels and the fiery caterpillar hunter beetle (Calosoma scrutator). During heavy outbreaks squirrels will damage trees by stripping the bark to get at the caterpillars. Adults and larvae are attracted to lights (Coyle et. al, 2013).
Print References
Coyle, D.R., J. Pickering, K.A. Dyer, F.R. Lehman, J.E. Mohan & Kamal J.K. Gandhi 2013. Dynamics of an Unprecedented Outbreak of Two Native Moth Species, Cissusa spadix and Phoberia atomaris (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), on Oak Trees (Quercus spp.) in the Southeastern United States. American Entomologist 59(2): 83-94 (PDF)
Hodges, R.W. (ed.), 1983; Check List of the Lepidoptera of America North of Mexico (6)
Holland, W.J. 1915. The Moth Book. Doubleday, Page & Company. p.256, pl.30, f.9 (7)
Lafontaine, J.D. & B.C. Schmidt 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America North of Mexico. p.20 (2)
Wagner, D.L., D.F. Schweitzer, J.B. Sullivan & R.C. Reardon 2011. Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America. Princeton University Press. p.145 (3)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems - species account with collection map and photos of pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems - genus page with collection map and photos of pinned adults for all four species.
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.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 .
3.Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2011. Princeton University Press.
4.Annotated list of Ontario Lepidoptera
J. C. E. Riotte. 1992. Royal Ontario Museum 1-208.
5.North American Moth Photographers Group
6.Check list of the Lepidoptera of America north of Mexico.
Hodges, et al. (editors). 1983. E. W. Classey, London. 284 pp.
7.The Moth Book
W. J. Holland. 1922. Doubleday, Page & Company.