Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Protodeltote muscosula (Guenée, 1852)
Lithacodia muscosula (Guenée, 1852)
Erastria muscosula Guenée, 1852
Phylogenetic sequence #
Explanation of Names
MUSCOSULA: from the Latin "muscus" (moss) + [possibly] the Greek "oula" (gums)
moss gums? What might that refer to? In Tom Murray's photo
, if the claviform spots are interpreted as eyes on a face, and the whitish subterminal area is seen as a set of teeth, you could say this species has "mossy gums" - and a black moustache to boot! (even if this interpretation is wrong, it provides a good way of remembering the species epithet)
Forewing whitish, heavily shaded with grayish-brown (olive-tinted in fresh specimens) and streaked with black; lines broken, blackish; reniform spot partially outlined in white; lower terminal area often white
hindwing light grayish.
[description adapted from Charles Covell]
Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Arizona, north to Manitoba
The adults fly from May to September or October.
The larvae feed on swamp grasses, especially saw grass.
Species epithet sometimes misspelled "musculosa".
Small Mossy Lithacodia (L. musta) is smaller, forewing more greenish with less white, and reniform spot rounder, more conspicuous.
live adult image
(Lynn Scott, Ontario)
live adult images
and larval food plants (Larry Line, Maryland)