Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
(Guenée, 1852) (1)
Caradrina tarda Guenée, 1852
Anorthodes prima Smith, 1891
Phylogenetic sequence # 932269
Explanation of Names
TARDA: from the Latin "tardus" (slow), and the origin of the common name The Slowpoke. Wagner et al. notes that the aptly-named caterpillar is lethargic and will feign death when disturbed. (2)
The only species in the genus listed for America, north of Mexico. (1)
Adult - forewing dark grayish-brown; lines darker but usually inconspicuous; ST line wavy with pale tan to yellowish edging; spots inconspicuous, blackish; group of 4 pale dots around perimeter of reniform spot is diagnostic but not always present. (3)
; sometimes pale dots reduced to 1 or none.
Heppner (2003) listed the range as New Hampshire to Florida, Missouri to Texas. (4)
Very common in oak woodlands. (2)
Adults fly from April to September. BugGuide records indicate two distinct flights throughout the entire range, late-March through May and late-August through September. (3)
Larvae feed on dead oak leaves. (2)
At rest on a dead leaf the larva presents a false head look with a swollen rearward segment and spots. When threatened the larva may raise rear abdominal segments and release anal prolegs to complete the deception. Lab reared caterpillars sometimes cannibalistic. (2)
Holotype as Caradrina tarda by Guenee, 1852. Type Locality: West Virginia per Morrison (1876). Guenee’s, along with Boisduval’s collection are part of the Obelthur collection in the British Museum of Natural History, London, England.
Holotype as Anorthodes prima male by Smith, 1891. Type Locality: Florida and Washington, D.C. In the Meyer collection at the United States National Museum, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
Beadle, D. & S. Leckie 2012. Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America. Houghton Mifflin. 434-435 (preview
Covell Jr., C.V. 1984. A Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. Houghton Mifflin Company. p.132. pl.27, f.5 (3)
Guenée, A. 1852. Histoire naturelle des insectes, spécies général des lépidoptères 5, Noctuelites 1: 243-244
Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, 1875-76, Vol. 18 by Morrison, pg. 121.
Transactions of the American Entomological Society, 1891, Vol. 18 by Smith, pg. 115.
The Canadian Entomologist, 1937, Vol. 69 by McDunnough, pg. 62.