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Species Malacodea pulchraria - Whitelined Looper - Hodges#7435

1090 Epirrita pulchraria - Whitelined Looper 7435 - Malacodea pulchraria Epirrita pulchraria - Whitelined Looper 7435 - Malacodea pulchraria Epirrita pulchraria - Whitelined Looper 7435 - Malacodea pulchraria - male White-lined Looper - Malacodea pulchraria Epirrita pulchraria - Malacodea pulchraria Epirrita pulchraria - Malacodea pulchraria
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Geometroidea (Geometrid and Swallowtail Moths)
Family Geometridae (Geometrid Moths)
Subfamily Larentiinae
Tribe Operophterini
Genus Malacodea
Species pulchraria (Whitelined Looper - Hodges#7435)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Malacodea pulchraria (Taylor, 1907)
Rachela pulchraria Taylor, 1907
Explanation of Names
Malacodea pulchraria (Taylor, 1907) was formerly in the genus Epirrita, Zootaxa, 4258(2): 145–156.
wingspan about 30 mm, based on CBIF photo
larva length to 21 mm
Adult: forewing light brown with white-edged dark brown lines; subterminal line with three prominent pointed teeth near costa and short horizontal dash at costa; a total of five distinct lines cross the wing (as opposed to eight lines in Operophtera bruceata); no noticeable terminal line; fringe checkered with dark and pale patches of about equal width; hindwing brownish-gray with small discal spot and checkered fringe

Larva: head green, unmarked, with top of head moderately cleft; body light green with faint dark green middorsal stripe and white dorsolateral stripe
British Columbia to northern California; common to uncommon along the coast; rare inland
coniferous forests on the west coast
adults fly from March to June
larvae present from June to August
larvae feed primarily on leaves of Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce; other hosts include Amabilis Fir, Subalpine Fir, Engelmann Spruce, White Spruce, Douglas-fir, Mountain Hemlock, Western Larch
Life Cycle
one generation per year; overwinters as a pupa
See Also
Autumnal Moth (Epirrita autumnata) forewing fringe not checkered, and terminal line composed of a series of dark double dots
Bruce Spanworm (Operophtera bruceata) forewing subterminal line composed of rounded scallops (not pointed teeth) and lacks short horizontal dash at costa; eight lines cross the wing (not five), the terminal line is composed of dark single dots, and the fringe is either not checkered or, if checkered, the pale patches are wider than the dark patches
(compare images of all three species at CBIF)
Print References
Truuverk, A., E. Õunap, T. Tammaru, 2017. Epirrita pulchraria (Taylor, 1907) transferred to Malacodea, with notes on the phylogeny and ecology of the tribe Operophterini (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Larentiinae). Zootaxa, 4258(2): 145–156.
Internet References
live larva image plus common name reference, larval foodplants, description, biology (Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada)
presence in California; list of 1 specimen with date and location (U. of California at Berkeley)