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Species Furcula occidentalis - Western Furcula - Hodges#7939

7939 Western Furcula - Furcula occidentalis WesternFurcula - Furcula occidentalis Caterpillar - Furcula occidentalis Furcula occidentalis - Western Furcula - Furcula occidentalis A Noctuid Moth - Furcula occidentalis - male 7939 Western Furcula - Furcula occidentalis Western Furcula  - Furcula occidentalis Western Furcula Moth - Furcula occidentalis
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 Cerurinae
Genus Furcula
Species occidentalis (Western Furcula - Hodges#7939)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Double-lined Furcula
Willow Kitten
Explanation of Names
OCCIDENTALIS: occidental means western (as opposed to oriental - eastern); generally refers to the western hemisphere
Three other Furcula species in North America are distributed, like occidentalis, from the east coast to the west coast, so there is nothing uniquely western about this species.
wingspan 32-45 mm
forewing pale grayish with dark gray to charcoal median band and dark gray to charcoal patch along costa near apex; PM line triple, fine, continuous across wing presenting 3 distinct 'teeth' in the two most distal PM lines; AM and terminal lines composed of several large black dots; some yellow or orange coloration often present next to AM and PM lines, and sometimes in a band of color across top of thorax
hindwing pale grayish-white with black-dotted terminal line and dark discal spot

Larva: body lime green with continuous dorsal blue-green and brown saddle extending down toward second abdominal proleg; saddle outlined in yellow; rear of second thoracic segment with raised transverse ridge; tails (anal prolegs) have extrusible portion brown with pale subapical band
[adapted from description by David Wagner and Valerie Giles)
Alberta to Newfoundland south to Iowa, Ohio and New Jersey with populations in Colorado and New Mexico. (1)
adults fly from April to August
larvae from June to September
larvae feed mostly on willow, and sometimes poplar
Life Cycle
overwinters as a pupa; one or two generations per year
See Also
Furcula furcula (Clerk, 1759) is found in BC, AB, MT, UT, CO, NM (1)
Light areas of forewing are white in F. borealis and scolopendrina, and pale tan or yellowish in modesta; dark gray areas are lacking in forewing of cinerea; PM line is either not triple or not continuous in other species (compare images of all 5 species)
The southwestern species F. nivea has a mostly white forewing.
Internet References
live adult images plus description, food plants, biology, and flight season (Lynn Scott, Ontario)
live adult images by various photographers, plus common name reference [Double-lined Furcula] (Moth Photographers Group)
habitat, flight season, description, biology, food plants, distribution, and common name reference [Willow Kitten] (U. of Alberta)
pinned adult image (A.W. Thomas, Canadian Forest Service)
pinned adult image of subspecies F. o. gigas (U. of Alberta)
pinned adult image (John Glaser, Maryland)
live larva image plus description, food plants, seasonality, and common name reference [Western Furcula] (David Wagner and Valerie Giles, Caterpillars of Eastern Forests; USGS)
live larva image and common name reference [Western Furcula] (Lacy Hyche, Auburn U., Alabama)
US distribution map (Moths of North America; USGS)
presence in Oregon; list (Oregon State U.)
Works Cited
1.The Moths of America North of Mexico. Fascicle 22.1A
Miller, J.S., D.L. Wagner, P.A. Opler & J.D. Lafontaine. 2018. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.