Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Nycteola cinereana - Grey Midget - Hodges#8977

Nycteola cinereana Nycteola cinereana Nycteola cinereana Nolid Moth - Nycteola cinereana Nolidae: Nycteola cinereana - Nycteola cinereana Nolidae: Nycteola cinereana - Nycteola cinereana Grey Midget - Nycteola cinereana 931144	Nycteola cinereana - Nycteola cinereana
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 Nolidae (Nolid Moths)
Subfamily Chloephorinae
Genus Nycteola
Species cinereana (Grey Midget - Hodges#8977)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Ashen Frigid Owlet
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Nycteola cinereana Neumoegen & Dyar, 1893
Forewing length 11-13 mm. (1)
Adults - "square-winged" light grey moth with shiny white hindwings. The adults come in several form, the most common with the forewings marked with a large dark triangular patch in the upper median area, and an oblique black streak along the wing base. The antemedian and postmedian lines are doubled and sinuous, and the round reniform spot has a rust-red pupil. There is also a thin black terminal line. Some specimens lack the dark patches and are quite uniform in color. The hindwings are shiny white, darkening slightly toward the margin. The antennae are simple and the sexes are similar (fromE.H. Strickland Entomological Museum) [Randy Hardy]

Larvae - dark olive green without markings and have pale spiracles with pale brown rims. The settae are pale and slender. Head is unmarked pale brownish green (1)

Pupa - cocoon is white, pointed at one end and truncate at the other (McFarland)
British Columbia east to New Brunswick and south to California, Nevada, and Colorado (1)q
Deciduous (poplar) woodland
adults fly in fall and spring and may overwinter (1)
Poplars, and in particular Balsam Poplar Populus balsamifera (E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum)
Life Cycle
According to Prentice (1962) the larvae feed as colonial tent makers when common, but are also frequently found as single defoliators. The late fall-early spring flight period may indicate that adults overwinter. Adults are occasionally collected in light traps, but they are apparently not strongly attracted to lights and may be much more common than trapping would indicate
"... Nycteola cinereana is a Poplar feeder and mainly occurs in boreal habitats. It occurs across Canada and southward in the mountains to California and Colorado. Any reports outside of this known area need confirmation. I am sure it will be in suitable habitat in NY and prob. ne PA. They almost always have what I call a moustache – that is a black line or streak extending from the wing base on the thorax, outward and downward toward the hind margin of the forewing..." - Don Lafontaine (pers. comm., 1/23/2019)
See Also
The similar N. frigidana is darker grey and lacks the dark edging or basal streaks along the wing base, and often have an egg shaped white or silvery patch near the upper forewing base. There are also a number of similar appearing Tortricid moths from E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum [Randy Hardy]
Print References
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press, pl. 46, fig. 10; p. 263. (1)