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Species Datana drexelii - Drexel's Datana - Hodges#7904

Caterpillar Swarm on Blueberry Bushes - Datana drexelii Datana caterpillar - Datana drexelii Drexel's Datana - cats. - Datana drexelii Caterpillar - Datana drexelii Datana drexelii Datana drexelii Datana drexelii datana - Datana drexelii
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Notodontidae (Prominent Moths)
Subfamily Phalerinae
Genus Datana
Species drexelii (Drexel's Datana - Hodges#7904)
Hodges Number
7904
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Datana drexelii Hy. Edwards, 1884
Phylogenetic sequence #930035
Size
WS = 40-56mm (1)
Identification
Adult: Similar to D. ministra with FW slightly darker, especially toward costa. Outer margin less scalloped. HW darker than D. ministra. (1)
D. drexelii are inseparable from D. major without dissection. Both species have brown forewings, usually with orange shading along the costa. The reniform and orbicular spots are usually distinct, often quite bold.

Larva: "The larva of D. drexelii is similar to the yellownecked caterpillar. The head and body are black. The cervical shield, or "collar", and front of the thorax are yellow, forming a "yellow neck." There are 11 (counting the ventral line) yellow longitudinal stripes along the body, with the lateral stripes connected at the rear with a small yellow ... patch on abdominal segment nine or on segments eight and nine. Full-grown larvae are 45-50 mm long." - Auburn University Account
Range
South Carolina west to Kentucky and northward. (1)
Food
Blueberry, sourwood, and witch-hazel. (1)
See Also
D. ministra averages a bit paler, plainer brown without any orange shading along the costa, has smaller reniform spots on average, and tends to have more heavily scalloped forewing margins. Some individuals cannot be reliably distinguished without dissection.
D. contracta is much paler, with an overlay of black scales.
D. major averages a bit larger and redder brown, but is usually not separable from D. drexelii unless dissected.
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group – images of live and pinned adults
BOLD Systems - images of pinned DNA supported specimens
Works Cited
1.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.