Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Pyreferra hesperidago (Guenée, 1852)
one of four species in the genus in North America; abundant in some years - rare in others
Adult: forewing yellow with variable orange shading; lines darker orange to reddish-brown; AM line and broad median line slightly jagged; PM line solid, nearly straight, turns inward just below costa. Hindwing pale orange with slightly darker median band.
[description by Charles Covell]
Larva: body waxy white with broad lemon-yellow banding; head very pale with slightly differentiated snowflake-like spots; some stemmata black; first thoracic segment without yellow; above level of spiracles: front two-thirds of each segment yellowed back to seventh abdominal segment; uniformly yellow from spiracles to above prolegs
[description from Caterpillars of Eastern Forests]
Nova Scotia to northern Florida, west to Arkansas, north to Wisconsin and Ontario
A spring and fall species: adults fly from March to May and again from September to November
larvae in May and June
larvae feed on leaves of witch-hazel, hop-hornbeam (ironwood), and perhaps sweetgum
one or two generations per year; overwinters as an adult
is similar but has pale yellow or whitish wings and its AM and median lines are smoother/straighter, not jagged. Compare images
of both species.