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Genus Cucullia - Hooded Owlets

Brwon Hooded Owlet-Cucullia convexipennis  - Cucullia convexipennis Cucullia asteroids?  - Cucullia Brown-hooded Owlet  - Cucullia convexipennis Cucullia laetifica - Hodges#10191 (Cucullia laetifica) - Cucullia moth Cucullia asteroides? - Cucullia Moth - Cucullia Moth - Cucullia Cucullia pulla? - Cucullia pulla
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 Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Cuculliinae
Genus Cucullia (Hooded Owlets)
Other Common Names
referred to as Sharks in Europe
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cucullia Schrank, 1802
Rancora and 17 other former genera were treated as junior synonyms of Cucullia by Poole in 1989 and 1995 (Brian Pitkin, Butterflies and Moths of the World)
Explanation of Names
Generic epithet Cucullia is Latin meaning "hood." (1) This refers to the projection of the thorax over the head:

Numbers
Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) listed 36 species of the genus Cucullia in America north of Mexico. (2)
Size
wingspan 40-60 mm
Identification
Adult: mostly drab gray moths with some fine black streaking; forewing long and narrow; tuft of hairs projecting from thorax forms a large pointed hood over the head, giving adults a streamlined "aerodynamic" appearance (a distinctive feature)

Larva: usually smooth (hairless) and very colorful, with mixed patterns of spots, stripes, and/or patches of mostly yellow, red, green, blue, and black - the range of variation between species is too complex to describe in general terms
Range
all of North America except the arctic (AK, YT, NT, NU)
also occurs throughout Eurasia and northern Africa
Habitat
mainly coniferous and mixed forest
Season
adults spring through fall
Food
larvae feed on flowers of composite plants (family Asteraceae) and leaves of several trees - varies according to species
Remarks
majority of North American species occur in the west
Works Cited
1.An accentuated list of the British Lepidoptera, with hints on the derivation of the names.
Anonymous. 1858. The Entomological Societies of Oxford and Cambridge.
2.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 .