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Species Acoloithus falsarius - Clemens' False Skeletonizer - Hodges#4629

Odd Caterpillar - Acoloithus falsarius Clemen's false skeletonizer - Acoloithus falsarius short tan caterpillar - Acoloithus falsarius caterpillar - Acoloithus falsarius moth - Acoloithus falsarius Clemens' False Skeletonizer - Acoloithus falsarius unknown moth - Acoloithus falsarius Clemens' False Skeletonizer - Acoloithus falsarius
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Zygaenoidea (Flannel, Slug Caterpillar, Leaf Skeletonizer Moths and kin)
Family Zygaenidae (Leaf Skeletonizer Moths)
Subfamily Procridinae
Genus Acoloithus
Species falsarius (Clemens' False Skeletonizer - Hodges#4629)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Acoloithus falsarius Clemens, 1860
Harrisina sanborni
Three Acoloithus species are found in America north of Mexico
Wingspan about 15 mm.
9 to 10 mm long.
Larva 8 to 9 mm long.
Adult small and all black except for incomplete orange collar, broken dorsally by black; abdomen relatively short and broad, lacking tufts of hair
Larva has whitish or yellowish head capsule (larva of Grapeleaf Skeletonizer has dark head capsule).
Heppner (2003) reported the range to include New York to Florida, Illinois to Texas(1).(2)
Moth Photographers Group displays records to Vermont. (3)
Deciduous forests and wineries.
May to September.
Heppner (2003) reported the larvae feed on:(2)
Ampelopsis spp. (peppervine) and Virginia Creeper.
Vitis spp. (grape).
Life Cycle
Mature larva are darker with a brown band on A1 and another one on A7. Overwinter as pupa on the ground. Males are active on warm afternoons.
Holotype as Acoloithus falsarius by Clemens, 1860. Type Locality: Pennsylvania & Illinois. In the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Holotype as Harrisina sanborni by Packard, 1864. #27316. Locality: Virginia, USA. In Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, Cambridge, Mass. This may not be the holotype, which was "loaned ... by Mr. Sanborn."
See Also
Harrisina americana (Grapeleaf Skeletonizer) adult larger, with complete neckband, and long slender abdomen bearing tufts of hair, holds wings spread at rest; larva of H. americana has dark head capsule (not pale as in A. falsarius)
Yellow-collared Scape Moth, Cisseps fulvicollis--larger with yellow stripe along wing margin (costa).
Virginia Ctenucha has orange head, metallic blue thorax and abdomen.
Print References
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press. plate 21, fig. 3; p. 160. (4)
Internet References
occurrence in Illinois; checklist (Illinois State Museum)
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1860, pp. 539 to 540 by Clemens.
Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 1862, Vol. 4: Synopsis of the Described Lepidoptera of North America, Pt. 1 by Morris.
Proceedings of the Essex Institute, 1864-65, Vol. 5: Communications: Notes on the Family Zygaenidae, pp. 32 to 33 by Packard.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia, 1866-67, Vol. 6, pg. 327 by Grote.
Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 1894, Vol. 2, pg. 63 by Neumoegen & Dyar.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 1901-02, Vol. 5, #1 By Dyar, pp. 324 to 325.
Illinois Biological Monographs, 1915, Vol. 2 #1, pg. 96: Lepidopterous Larvae by S. Fracker (thesis).
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1923, Memoir #68 by Forbes, pg. 114.
Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 1989-1992, Vol. 152 #2: Primary Types of Microlepidoptera in the Museum of Comparative Zoology by Miller and Hodges, Apr. 1990, pg. 71.