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Species Sunira bicolorago - Bicolored Sallow - Hodges#9957

Moth, Stanwood WA - Sunira bicolorago Bicolored Sallow - Sunira bicolorago Moth - Sunira bicolorago Sunira bicolorago  - Sunira bicolorago Unknown moth - Sunira bicolorago Moth at porch light - Sunira bicolorago Bicolored Sallow - Sunira bicolorago Maple seed eater - Sunira bicolorago
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 Noctuinae (Cutworm or Dart Moths)
Tribe Xylenini
Subtribe Xylenina
Genus Sunira
Species bicolorago (Bicolored Sallow - Hodges#9957)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Shield-backed Cutworm (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Sunira bicolorago – Bicolored Sallow Moth – (Guenée, 1852)
Agrochola bicolorago (some sources treat Sunira as a subgenus of Agrochola)
described in 1852 by Guenee, who originally placed it in genus Xanthia
* phylogenetic sequence #932616
Three Sunira species are found in America north of Mexico
wingspan 28-38 mm
Adult: forewing pale straw-yellow to deep orange-yellow, shaded with light brown or gray; lower half of reniform spot filled with gray; lines usually obscure; PM line a series of black dots; subterminal line continuous from inner margin to costa; in some specimens, outer half of forewing completely purplish-gray; hindwing paler than forewing, shaded with grayish-brown
[adapted from description by Charles Covell]

TT: Almost identical to Sunira verberata which has the same range in Canada (but no further east than NB). Best told apart by hind wing.

Larva: head black; body orangish-brown with black dorsal band on first thoracic segment; abdomen with dark brown dorsal triangle on each segment
eastern half of United States (except southern Florida) plus every province in Canada
adults are common visitors to lights throughout fall
adults fly from August to December in the south; September to November in the north
larvae feed on cabbage, cherry, crabapple, dock, elm, grass, maple, peach, plum, oak, tobacco, willow
See Also
Yellow Three-Spot (Apamea helva) flies earlier [July to September] and forewing subterminal line is broken near costa, not continuous from inner margin to costa (compare images of both species at CBIF)

Speckled Green Fruitworm Moth (Orthosia hibisci) is darker brown, and flies from March to May
Print References
Wagner - Owlets (1), page 465
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.
live adult images of dark and light forms, plus description, foodplants, flight season (Lynn Scott, Ontario)
pinned adult images of dark and light forms (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
synonym (FUNET, Finland)
common name refrence [Shield-backed Cutworm; larva] plus foodplants and flight season (Ohio State U.)
distribution in Canada list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)
Works Cited
1.Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2011. Princeton University Press.