Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Operophtera brumata - Winter Moth - Hodges#7436

caterpillar on scrub oak - Operophtera brumata head of winter moth caterpillar - Operophtera brumata Wingless Moth Oregon - Operophtera brumata - female Bug on fencepost, Fresh Pond, Cambridge, MA - Operophtera brumata - female Winter Moth - Operophtera brumata - male Winter Moth  - Operophtera brumata - female moth - Operophtera brumata - male winter moth caterpillar - Operophtera brumata
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 Operophtera
Species brumata (Winter Moth - Hodges#7436)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Operophtera brumata, (Linnaeus, 1758)
one of three species in the genus for North America north of Mexico
wingspan is 28–33 mm
Females of this genus have vestigial wings

Comparison of Operophtera brumata and O. bruceata, uncus is shown, the scales have been brushed off the tail of the abdomen.
Native to Europe, introduced to Northeast and Pacific Northwest, pest species in areas such as Boston. Established in the NW since the 1970s
adult males seen October to February and often attracted to lights
larvae feed on willow, trembling aspen, paper birch, balsam poplar, and bigleaf maple
Life Cycle
Overwinter as eggs. Young feed first on opening buds and the undersides of developing leaves. When mature they drop to the ground and construct pupal cells where they remain until fall. Females emerge and deposit eggs in bark crevices, under lichens, or other sheltered locations on the tree.(2)
Larvae are able to attack Quercus robus only just after bud break until the first set of leaves. If the bud opening happens before the egg hatches or the egg hatches before the bud break, a large proportion of the larvae starve.(1)
this introduced species is a serious pest (defoliator)


Two imported parasites are providing a degree of control in Nova Scotia. They are a tachnid, Cyzenis albicans and an ichneumon Argypon flaveolatum(2)
Print References
Gwiazdowski, R.A., J.S. Elkinton, J.R. Dewaard, M. Sremac, 2013. Phylogeographic Diversity of the Winter Moths Operophtera brumata and O. bruceata (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in Europe and North America. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 106 (2): 143-151.
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - species page with photographs of living and pinned adults.
Works Cited
1.Insect-Plant Biology
L.M. Schoonhoven, T. Jermy, and J.J.A. Van Loon. 1998. Chapman and Hall.
2.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.