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Species Acrolophus popeanella - Clemens' Grass Tubeworm Moth - Hodges#0373

Acrolophus - Acrolophus popeanella Hairy-headed moth - Acrolophus popeanella A moth with robust labial palps. (?) Submitted for ID. Acrolophus sp.. - Acrolophus popeanella Moth  - Acrolophus popeanella Acrolophus sp. - Acrolophus popeanella Clemens' Grass Tubeworm Moth Acrolophus popeanella Clemens, 1859 - Acrolophus popeanella Clemens' Grass Tubeworm Moth - Acrolophus popeanella - male Acrolophus popeanella? - Acrolophus popeanella
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Tineoidea (Tubeworm, Bagworm, and Clothes Moths)
Family Tineidae (Clothes Moths)
Subfamily Acrolophinae (Burrowing Webworm Moths)
Genus Acrolophus (Tubeworm Moths)
Species popeanella (Clemens' Grass Tubeworm Moth - Hodges#0373)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Streaked Tubeworm Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Acrolophus popeanella (Clemens, 1859)
Anaphora popeanella, Anaphora agrotipennella, Anaphora scardina, Acrolophus agrotipennella, Acrolophus agrotipennellus, Anaphora morrisoni, Acrolophus confusellus, Anaphora confusellus, Acrolophus morrisoni, Acrolophus popeanellus, Acrolophus popeanella, Acrolophus scardina.
* phylogenetic sequence #011050
described in 1859 by Clemens, who originally placed it in genus Anaphora
Wingspan 24-33 mm (1); 11 to 14 mm long.
There has been a lot of confusion between Acrolophus popeanella and A. arcanella through the years but thanks to help from Peter Jump, some of that confusion can be cleared up. The palps of male A. popeanella will reach back to or near to the abdomen. The palps of male A. arcanella are much shorter and will generally point straight up. The scales on the thorax of A. arcanella are much longer, giving it a very furry appearance. A. arcanella is also a stockier looking moth and when fresh, the forewings will have scattered large white scales. This is something you will never see on A. popeanella.

A. popeanella ♂              A. arcanella


A pretty variable species, easily recognized in its yellow-striped form:

That becomes a bit less distinctive in forms where the stripe is darkened:

And sometimes loses the yellow altogether, but the placement of the rest of the patches on the wings remains the same:

In these plain forms, this species can sometimes be very difficult to distinguish from dark specimens of propinqua, which has similarly-structured palps.
Eastern United States: New Jersey and Ohio south to Florida, west to Illinois, Nebraska, Texas.
Meadows, forest edges.
adults fly from May to September; Mid-June to July in Ontario.
Larvae feed on roots of Red Clover (Trifolium pratense). White clover roots also reported.
Life Cycle
Larvae tunnel into soil around clover roots. Tunnels are silk-lined. Over-winter as larvae and continue feeding the next spring. Pupate in tunnels in late spring.
Larvae about 17 mm long. Dark brownish-purple with raised spots. Head black, bordered with a brown line. Abdomen tip lighter colored. Legs brown-black, long.
Peter Jump says that this species contains an undescribed cryptic species that is found along the eastern coast and can't be determine by the genitalia. Females of the cryptic species seem to be unknown.

Holotype and allotype as Anaphora popeanella male and female by Clemens, 1859. Type Locality: Texas. In the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Note: Both rubbed, one unspread and without abdomen. Clemens type #11.
Syntypes as Anaphora scardina males by Zeller, 1873. Type Locality: Carolina & Texas. In the British National Museum of Natural History, London, England.
Holotype as Anaphora agrotipennella female by Grote, 1872. Type Locality: Alabama. In the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Holotype as Anaphora morrisoni male by Walsingham, 1887. Type Locality: Florida. In the British National Museum of Natural History, London, England.
Holotype as Anaphora confusellus male by Dyar, 1900. Type Locality: Georgia. In the United States National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C. Type #405 in Beutenmueller Collection. Genitalia slide by Busck 1933. Beutenmuller never published a description for Acrolophus confusellus.
Note: Listed at Smithsonian as Anaphora popeanella confusella. No photos.
See Also
Aged females are similar to Acrolophus propinqua females, but have only a few dark spiked hairs on thorax. A. propinqua has fairly thick reddish-brown spiked thorax.
Print References
Covell, p. 452, plate 62 # 3 (1)
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1859, Vol. 11 by Clemens, pp. 260 to 261 as Anaphora popeanella.
The Tineina of North America 1872 by Clemens, pg. 57.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1872, Vol. 4 by Grote, pp. 137 to 138 as Anaphora agrotipennella.
Transactions of the Entomological Society of London, 1887 by Walsingham, pp. 161 to 163.
The Canadian Entomologist6, 1900, Vol. 32 by Dyar, pg. 309.
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 1902-03, Vol. 5 by Busck, pg. 187.
Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, 1923, Memoir 68 by Forbes, pg. 121 as Acrolophus popeanellus, Acrolophus confusellus.
Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 1964, Vol. 114 by Hasbrouck, pp. 558 to 567.
Ohio State University Research Bulletin, 2001 #1192: Lepidoptera of Wayne County, Ohio by Rings and Downer, pg. 21. Larva food and fly dates.
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems - species account with collection map and photos of pinned adults.
Maryland Moths live adult images and dates (Larry Line, Maryland)
presence in Ohio; list of 7 specimens, plus foodplant and flight season (Ohio State U.)
presence in Illinois; list (Illinois State Museum)
Works Cited
1.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.