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Species Pyreferra hesperidago - Mustard Sallow - Hodges#9929

Mustard Sallow - Pyreferra hesperidago moth - Pyreferra hesperidago moth0404151 - Pyreferra hesperidago Mustard Sallow? - Pyreferra hesperidago Pyreferra hesperidago Pyreferra hesperidago Three Pyreferra hesperidago from the same Hamamelis - Pyreferra hesperidago Small Pyreferra hesperidago - Pyreferra hesperidago
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 Pyreferra
Species hesperidago (Mustard Sallow - Hodges#9929)
Hodges Number
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
wingspan 34-38 mm
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
Life Cycle
one or two generations per year; overwinters as an adult
See Also
P. citrombra 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.
Internet References
adult images (Larry Line, Maryland)