Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Family Notodontidae - Prominent Moths

Notodontidae: Clostera albosigma - Clostera albosigma Caterpillar on maple - Peridea basitriens Green Moth - Cecrita biundata unicorn with parasites - Coelodasys unicornis Peridea? - Peridea angulosa moth 1 - Datana drexelii-major Datana ministra Gluphisia septentrionis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Notodontidae Stephens, 1829
8 subfamilies of Notodontidae; 140 species in 44 genera in our area. There are at least three new species awaiting description (Peridea n. sp., Litodonta n. sp., Schizura n. sp.). Lafontaine and Schmidt (2010) list 138(1), because they failed to include Nystalea ebalea and Elasmia mandela in their 2013 corrections. Metzler and Knudson described these two species in 2011 (2).
Below is a guide to the local subfamilies of Notodontidae. The images included are meant to be illustrative of the general appearance of each subfamily as an aid for narrowing down possibilities for identification. All genera found in the US and Canada are included for all subfamilies except Heterocampinae, with the following exceptions: Hemiceras (Hemiceratinae, one species, with only one specimen from AZ known), Elymiotis (Nystaleinae, one species limited to southernmost TX), and Pentobesa (Nystaleinae, one species).

Cerurinae                                                                                                                Dicranurinae                                            Dudusinae


Notodontinae                                                                                                                                                                                                         Dioptinae


Phalerinae                                                                                                               Pygaerinae                                                Periergosinae

US and Canada(3)
Deciduous trees and shrubs(3)
Life Cycle
Most larvae are solitary but some are nest builders(3)
The family name refers to the backward-projecting tufts on the hind margin or the wings which protrude when the wings are folded. This occurs in some species.(3)
When the larvae are disturbed they elevate each end of the body and remain attached by the 4 pairs of prolegs at the middle.(3)
Print References
Internet References
pinned adult thumbnail images of 43 species occurring in western Canada (CBIF)
pinned adult thumbnail images of 54 species occurring in eastern Canada (CBIF)
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .
2.A new species of Elasmia Möschler from New Mexico and Texas, and a new subspecies of Elasmia mandela (Druce) from ....
Eric Metzler, Edward Knudson. 2011. Zookeys 149: 51-67.
3.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.
4.The Moths of America North of Mexico. Fascicle 22.1A
Miller, J.S., D.L. Wagner, P.A. Opler & J.D. Lafontaine. 2018. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.