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Genus Sthenopis

Hepialidae: Sthenopis purpurascens Eggs - Sthenopis purpurascens Four Spotted Ghost Moth (Sthenopis purpurascens) OVA - Sthenopis purpurascens Hepialidae: Sthenopis purpurascens x thule? - Sthenopis Hepialidae: Sthenopis purpurascens - Sthenopis purpurascens
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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
5 species listed in North America ( but the total is reduced to 4 when S. quadriguttatus is removed [see Remarks section below]
wingspan 50-100 mm
larvae to 60 mm
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
mostly northern United States and southern Canada; one species occurs north to Northwest Territories, and south to Arizona
deciduous and mixed woodlands usually bordering or near water
adults fly at dusk from June to August
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)
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)