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Species Tecmessa scitiscripta - Black-etched Prominent - Hodges#7942

Black-etched Prominent - side - Tecmessa scitiscripta Water larva - Tecmessa scitiscripta What Caterpillar? - Tecmessa scitiscripta Black-etched Prominent - Tecmessa scitiscripta Cerura scitiscripta - Tecmessa scitiscripta Black-etched Prominent - Tecmessa scitiscripta Prominent - Tecmessa scitiscripta Tecmessa scitiscripta - Black-etched Prominent - Hodges#7942 - Tecmessa scitiscripta - male
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)
Subfamily Cerurinae
Genus Tecmessa
Species scitiscripta (Black-etched Prominent - Hodges#7942)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cerura scitiscripta (Walker 1865)
3 subspecies listed
C. s. canadensis, multiscripta, scitiscripta
wingspan 25-40 mm (1); male much smaller than female
Adult: forewing white with sharp double black lines and small black reniform spot; black streaks also extend along veins; hindwing gray; Florida specimens have reduced black markings and white hindwing (1)

Larva: body lime green with white subspiracular stripe; third thoracic segment humped, bearing white or lavender transverse ridge; anterior of first thoracic segment reddish with dark eyespots to either side; tails (anal prolegs) with extrusible portion yellow, tentaclelike, flailed over body when disturbed [description by David Wagner and Valerie Giles]
Quebec and New England to Florida, west to Texas, north to Alberta
deciduous woodlands near rivers and lakes; adults are nocturnal and come to light
adults fly from March to October in the south; June and July in the north
larvae from June to September
larvae feed on leaves of cherry, poplar, and willow
Life Cycle
one or two generations per year, depending on latitude
larva; larva; adult
See Also
species of Furcula have less distinct lines and/or more extensive dark shading in median and subterminal areas of forewing (compare images of several species at CBIF)
Internet References
4 pinned adult images showing two small males and two large females (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
pinned adult image by John Glaser, plus date and foodplants (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult images by Jim Vargo, showing dark and light forms (Moth Photographers Group)
live larva image plus description, foodplants, seasonality, life cycle (David Wagner and Valeria Giles, Caterpillars of Eastern Forests, USGS)
live larva image (M.C. Thomas, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
live larva images by Lacy Hyche (
US distribution map (
distribution in Canada list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)