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Species Zotheca tranquilla - Elder Moth - Hodges#9816

Elder Moth - Zotheca tranquilla - Hodges#9816  - Zotheca tranquilla - female unknown moth - Zotheca tranquilla Zotheca tranquilla Elder Moth - Zotheca tranquilla Zotheca tranquilla – Elder Moth - Zotheca tranquilla Zotheca tranquilla caterpillar - Zotheca tranquilla Zotheca tranquilla Zotheca tranquilla
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 Cosmiina
Genus Zotheca
Species tranquilla (Elder Moth - Hodges#9816)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Zotheca tranquilla Grote, 1874
* phylogenetic sequence #932673
* formerly placed in subfamily Amphipyrinae, subsequently restricted to the genus Amphipyra by Kitching & Rawlins, in Kristensen (1999)
the only species in this genus in North America and the world
wingspan about 36 mm
Adult: forewing pale yellowish with light green median band and thin wavy basal and postmedial lines; hindwing white

Larva: body with middorsal line of yellow circles bordered in black; subdorsal band pale purple; lateral-ventral area solid yellow with black spots
[description by Jeff Miller]
British Columbia to California, east to Utah
wet coastal mountain forests, and riparian forests at lower elevations
adults fly in summer
larvae in May and June
larvae feed on leaves of elder (Sambucus spp.)
See Also
The green color is unusual in adult noctuid moths; unlikely to be confused with anything except perhaps some Schinia species such as cumatilis or obliqua
Print References
Comstock, J. A. & C. M. Dammers 1938. Notes on the life history of a noctuid moth. Southern California Acad. Sci. 37(2): 78-79, pl.21-22
Kitching, I.J., and J.E. Rawlins. 1999. (The Noctuoidea, pp. 355-401 in Kristensen N.P. (editor). Lepidoptera: Moths and butterflies. Volume 1: Evolution, systematics and biogeography. Handbook of Zoology/Handbuch der Zoologie. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin/New York).
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - species page
live larva and adult images plus common name reference (Jeremy Tatum, Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island)
pinned adult image plus description, habitat, flight season (Jeff Miller; Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands; USGS)
live larva image plus description, food plants, seasonality (Jeff Miller, Caterpillars of Pacific Northwest Forests and Woodlands; USGS)
presence in Utah; list (Joel Johnson, Utah Lepidopterists Society)
presence in California; list (U. of California at Berkeley)
classification in subfamily Hadeninae (Brian Pitkin, Butterflies and Moths of the World)
classification in subfamily Hadeninae, tribe Caradrinini (CBIF)