Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Genus Symmerista

Symmerista albifrons - male 7951, White-headed Prominent, Symmerista albifrons - Symmerista Symmerista new species - Symmerista Texas SE Gulf Coast - Symmerista red-humped oakworm - Symmerista canicosta 2/20/18 moth - Symmerista symmerista - Symmerista white-headed prominent - Symmerista albifrons - female
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 Notodontidae (Prominent Moths)
Subfamily Nystaleinae
Genus Symmerista
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Symmerista Hübner, (1821)
Adults of species in the genus Symmerista are believed to be indistinguishable, except by examination of the genitalia. Fortunately, males can be recognized, without dissection, by examining the 8th sternite. This is the hard cuticle on the ventral surface of the last segment of the abdomen. The technique is briefly explained in Wagner’s Caterpillar book (p 21), combine this with brushing the scales of the last sternite (8th). S. leucitys has a deep, narrow emargination, whereas in the other 2 eastern species the emargination is shallower and wider.
All the images to species in the Guide, except for those identifed by the 8th sternite or genitalia, are more likely to be incorrect than correct.
Comparison of albifrons, canicosta and leucitys - 8th sternite

See HERE for location of 8th sternite.
genitalia dissection (phallus - apex of the large bilobed process greatly exceeds the apex of the small simple process in albifrons whereas in leucitys the two apexes are subequal)
Deciduous forests
Print References
Covell, p. 332, plate 43 #2 (1)
Wagner, Caterpillars of Eastern Forests, p. 54 (2)
Wagner, Caterpillars of Eastern North America, pp.317-318--photos of adults (specimen) and caterpillars, S. canicosta and S. leucitys, discussion of identification issues (3)
Works Cited
1.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
2.Caterpillars of Eastern Forests
David L. Wagner, Valerie Giles, Richard C. Reardon, Michael L. McManus. 1998. U.S. Dept of Agriculture, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.
3.Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2005. Princeton University Press.