Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar
Upcoming Events

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 BugGuide Gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Genus Sthenopis

 Willow Ghost Moth  Sthenopis thule Hodges#0021 - Sthenopis thule Hepialidae: Sthenopis purpurascens Eggs - Sthenopis purpurascens Willow Ghost Moth - Sthenopis thule Gold-spotted Ghost Moth - Sthenopis pretiosus Four Spotted Ghost Moth - Sthenopis purpurascens Willow Ghost Moth (Sthenopis thule) - Sthenopis thule Silver-spotted Ghost Moth - Hodges#0018 - Sthenopis argenteomaculatus Hepialidae: Sthenopis purpurascens - Sthenopis purpurascens - female
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 Hepialoidea (Ghost Moths)
Family Hepialidae (Ghost Moths)
Genus Sthenopis
Numbers
5 species listed in North America (nearctica.com) but the total is reduced to 4 when S. quadriguttatus is removed [see Remarks section below]
Size
wingspan 50-100 mm
larvae to 60 mm
Identification
adult with very short antennae and no mouthparts (typical of family Hepialidae); forewing long with pointed apex, variably colored yellowish, brownish, or grayish, and usually with silver markings
Range
mostly northern United States and southern Canada; one species occurs north to Northwest Territories, and south to Arizona
Habitat
deciduous and mixed woodlands usually bordering or near water
Season
adults fly at dusk from June to August
Food
larvae bore in roots of trees
Life Cycle
development takes 1-2 years to complete; adults are short-lived and do not feed (they have no mouthparts)
Remarks
The species S. purpurascens has a purplish-gray form and a yellowish-brown form. Until recently the yellowish-brown form was thought to be a separate species, S. quadriguttatus. (see U. of Alberta reference)
Internet References
pinned adult image of S. purpurascens plus other info (Strickland Entomological Museum, U. of Alberta)
pinned adult image of "S. quadriguttatus", now recognized as the yellowish-brown form of S. purpurascens [see Remarks section above] plus other info (Gerald Fauske, Moths of North Dakota)
pinned adult images of S. argenteomaculatus, auratus, and the yellowish-brown form of S. purpurascens, labelled "S. quadriguttatus" (Canadian Forest Service)
link to pinned adult image of S. thule, showing mostly whitish unmarked wings with only a strip of orange along costa of forewing (Insect Collecters Shoppe, Quebec)