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Species Panthea acronyctoides - Black Zigzag - Hodges#9177

Black & white moth - Panthea acronyctoides Panthea acronyctoides Hodges #9177 - Black Zigzag Moth  - Panthea acronyctoides Panthea acronyctoides ?? - Panthea acronyctoides Kentucky Moth - Panthea acronyctoides Moth - Panthea acronyctoides Unidentified noctuid moth - Panthea acronyctoides   - Panthea acronyctoides - male
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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 Pantheinae
Genus Panthea
Species acronyctoides (Black Zigzag - Hodges#9177)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Tufted Spruce Caterpillar (larva) -
Noctuelle Marbrée de L’Épinette - En français.… Ilze V-G.,
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Panthea acronyctoides (Walker, 1861)
ssp. Panthea acronyctoides acronyctoides (Walker, 1861)
+syn. Panthea acronyctoides albosuffusa McDunnough, 1937
ssp. Panthea acronyctoides nigra Anweiler, 2009
Phylogenetic sequence #931398
Explanation of Names
ACRONYCTOIDES: from the Greek "akros" (summit; high; tip; pointed) + "nyktos" (night); might refer to the "black as night" larva, and the pointed zigzag lines on the adult and pointed markings on the larva
Seven Panthea species occur in America north of Mexico.(1)
Two subspecies are recognized.(1)
wingspan 30-35 mm
larvae to 35 mm
Adult: forewing white with bold black zigzag lines; pattern usually visible on either white, black (melanic), or gray-shaded specimens; fringe checkered black-and-white; orbicular spot a large white disk bordered by black and with a black dot in the center [when the moth is at rest, the two orbicular spots resemble spectacled eyes with tiny black pupils]
hindwing uniformly gray except for white patch at anal angle

Larva: body black and white with pale tubercles that bear compact tufts of long hairs or less dense tufts of shorter hairs; head blackish with some white marks; prominent, paired, white dorsal hair tufts on T1, A1, and A8; smaller, more-sparsely-haired tufts on low tubercles that encircle most segments; white middorsal stripe variably expanded over anterior half of most segments; white spot near subdorsal tubercles; faint, broken, white supraspiracular stripe; angular, white "inverted V" marks extend upward from subspiracular tubercle to dorsolateral area
Newfoundland to British Columbia and adjacent northern states, south in the west to Colorado, south in the east to New England and Kentucky.
Moth Photographers Group - large map with some collection locations and dates.
coniferous forests
adults fly from May to August
larvae from July to September
larvae feed on Balsam Fir, Eastern Hemlock, Eastern Larch, White Spruce, and species of pine
Life Cycle
one generation per year; overwinters as a pupa in soil or debris
Print References
Lafontaine J. D., and B. C. Schmidt 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America North of Mexico. p. 49.(1)
Covell, p. 80 & plate 16#17 (2)
Internet References
live larva image plus description, host plants, and biology (
pinned adult images of two males (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
Specimen records and photos (Strickland Entomological Museum, U. of Alberta)
Works Cited
1.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 .
2.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.