Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Gluphisia septentrionis - Common Gluphisia - Hodges#7931

Notodontidae: Gluphisia septentrionis? - Gluphisia septentrionis Notodontidae: Gluphisia septentrionis - Gluphisia septentrionis Common Gluphisia - Hodges#7931 - Gluphisia septentrionis Common Gluphisia - Hodges#7931 - Gluphisia septentrionis Common Gluphisia - Gluphisia septentrionis Gluphisia septentrionis Notodontidae: Gluphisia septentrionis - Gluphisia septentrionis Common Gluphisia - Gluphisia septentrionis - male
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Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Notodontidae (Prominent Moths)
Subfamily Notodontinae
Genus Gluphisia
Species septentrionis (Common Gluphisia - Hodges#7931)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Gluphisia septentrionis Walker, 1855
5 synonyms listed at All-Leps but none more recent than 1927
Wikipedia has this species and many other synonyms listed under Gluphisia crenata, which is probably the European counterpart or sister species. BOLD has them listed in separate bins. (1)
Pylogentic Sequence # 930019
4 subspecies listed at All-Leps: albofascia, quinquilinea, ridenda, septentrionis
wingspan 25-33 mm
Adult: forewing varies from light to dark gray; yellowish-to-gold-to-brownish patches on wing vary in extent, either crossing the entire wing or being restricted to the medial area; postmedial (PM) line usually bordered by small pale patch at the costa; hindwing small, dirty white basally, shading to gray distally, with dark veins
subspecies ridenda, which occurs in the west, has gold basal and medial bands on the forewing, interspersed by charcoal gray shading (see photo by Jim Vargo in MPG link in Internet References section below)
Specimens identified by DNA analysis:


Larva: pale green with prominent yellow subdorsal stripes; dorsum pale green or marked with wine red and yellow spots; head flattened with conspicuous antenna, often with black lateral lines; abdomen tapering to rear, last segment compressed
[description by David Wagner and Valerie Giles]
one of the most widespread moth species, occurring throughout North America except Nunavut and Northwest Territories
woodlands, parks, practically anywhere poplars grow
adults fly from May to August
larvae present from June to October
larvae feed on leaves of poplar (Populus spp.)
Life Cycle
two generations per year
Overwinter as pupa in cocoons on the ground.(2)
Female with eggs; Hatchling; Larva; Pupa:
See Also
In the North, check out Lintner's Gluphisia Moth - Gluphisia lintneri, which may have the PM line lacking or faint and also may have yellow-orange coloring in the ST line.

In the west, check out Gluphisia severa, which usually has a prominent yellow-orange ST line, is considerably larger and generally flies earlier.

In the south-west, check out Gluphisia wrightii, which was formerly considered a subspecies of septentrionis and is a very similar.

The dark forms of the Black Zig-Zag might sometimes look similar, Panthea acronyctoides.
Internet References
adult images (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult image by Paul Opler, plus US distribution map (
common name reference plus flight season and larval foodplant (Ohio State U.)
Works Cited
1.BOLD: The Barcode of Life Data Systems
2.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.
3.North American Moth Photographers Group