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Species Apantesis nevadensis - Nevada Tiger Moth - Hodges#8179

Tiger Moth - Apantesis nevadensis Tiger Moth - Apantesis nevadensis Tiger Moth - Apantesis nevadensis caterpillar - Apantesis nevadensis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
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 Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Arctiina
Genus Apantesis
Species nevadensis (Nevada Tiger Moth - Hodges#8179)
Hodges Number
8179
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Apantesis nevadensis
described in 1866 by Grote & Robinson, who originally placed it in genus Arctia
4 subspecies listed: geneura, gibsoni, nevadensis, superba; some sources treat gibsoni and geneura as separate species.
Grammia incorrupta, from the Southwest, and Grammia ursina from sw. California are very similar and closely related, but are currently treated as a separate species.
Size
wingspan 30-40 mm, based on several Internet photos
Identification
Adult: forewing black with 3 variably thin to wide pale bands crossing wing; subterminal line W-shaped, touching PM line at top of W, and outer margin at bottom; single pale line from base of costa to anal angle; hindwing varies from bright red with several black spots to pale pink with merged spots forming extensive black area; top of thorax white with 3 longitundinal black stripes; ptagia (collar) has one black spot on each side

Larva: final instar black with several red spots and long tufts of hair on each abdominal segment
Range
western North America: Yukon to California, east to western Ontario and western Texas, south into Mexico
Season
Year-round, but adults mostly in obvious broods between April and November and larvae any season.
Food
McFarland (1975) found mature larvae on big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) in New Mexico. Also presumably feed on groundcherry (Physalis spp.) based on photo of final instar on that plant - see link to Bruce Walsh images in Internet References below.
Life Cycle
Apparently multiple generations per year (probably 2 to 4 depending upon the local climate). Overwinter as larvae, and these are often seen abundantly on warm winter days. Larvae also occur in at least one or two more broods through the spring and summer. They form an oval, loose cocoon of silk, incorporating their own bristles and sometimes gravel, bits of leaves etc. Cocoons are mostly formed under debris or rocks or in cracks and crannies in wood or rocks.
See Also
Mexican Tiger Moth (Notarctia proxima) has an unmarked collar (no black spots)
Print References
McFarland, N. 1975. Larval foodplant records for 106 species of American moths. Journal of The Lepidopterists' Society 29(2): 115 (1)
Schmidt, B. Christian, 2009. 'Taxonomic revision of the genus Grammia Rambur (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Arctiinae)'; Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 156, 507–597. With 135 figures
Internet References
pinned adult images of 3 subspecies: gibsoni, nevadensis, superba (CBIF)
pinned adult image by Paul Opler, plus US distribution map (butterfliesandmoths.org)
pinned adult images (Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeastern Arizona)
pinned adult image and final instar image of subspecies geneura (Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeastern Arizona)
distribution in Canada of 3 subspecies, with gibsoni and superba listed as separate species (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)
common name reference plus references, links to images (Markku Savela, FUNET)
Works Cited
1.Larval foodplant records for 106 species of North American moths
Noel McFarland. 1975. Journal of The Lepidopterists' Society 29(2): 112-125.