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Species Ponometia candefacta - Olive-shaded Bird Dropping Moth - Hodges#9090

Bird Dropping Moth - Ponometia candefacta Olive-shaded Bird-dropping Moth - Ponometia candefacta Noctuidae: Ponometia candefacta - Ponometia candefacta Olive-shaded Bird Dropping Moth  - Ponometia candefacta Texas SE Gulf Coast - Ponometia candefacta 9052996 BD moth - Ponometia candefacta Noctuidae, Olive-shaded Bird Dropping Moth larva, dorsal - Ponometia candefacta Noctuidae, Olive-shaded Bird Dropping Moth, dorsal - Ponometia candefacta
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 Acontiinae (Bird Dropping Moths)
Tribe Acontiini
Genus Ponometia
Species candefacta (Olive-shaded Bird Dropping Moth - Hodges#9090)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Olive-shaded Bird Lime Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Ponometia candefacta (Hübner, [1831])
Tarache candefacta Hübner, [1831]
Tarachidia candefacta
Micra haworthana Westwood, 1851
Acontia debilis Walker, [1858] 1857
Acontia neomexicana Smith, 1900
* phylogenetic sequence #931314
Thirty-four species of Ponometia are found in America north of Mexico.(1)
Wingspan 18-22 mm.
Larva to 30 mm (Crumb, 1956).
Adult - forewing white near base and along costa; gray and yellowish mottling fills most of median and subterminal areas (creating an olive green effect) and reaching apex; note dark grayish bar perpendicular to inner margin; orbicular spot tiny, black; reniform spot usually round, outlined with white; diffuse light gray markings usually present near base hindwing dark grayish-brown with white fringe [adapted from description by Charles Covell]
Larva - elongate, slender, green and white with numerous white and darker green pin stripes. Variable in coloration, ranging from essentially green forms to those that bear prominent dark subdorsal and lateral patches on A1-A4, with those on A3 and A4 largest. Abdominal spiracles occasionally embedded in russet to purplish or black spot. A8 humped. Head with white stripe to either side of triangle and prominent white lateral marbling.
All of United States and southcentral Canada (Quebec to Saskatchewan); also occurs in Nova Scotia.
Fields, waste places, and riparian areas where food plants grow; adults are attracted to light.
Adults fly from April to September.
Larvae feed on ragweed (Ambrosia spp.).
Has been introduced to Russia as a biological control agent.
See Also
Ponometia binocula has more uniform yellowish-green color in distal half of forewing, and mostly white hindwing
Ponometia erastrioides has a diagonal dark gray or blackish patch on distal half of forewing but not reaching apex, and lacks greenish-yellow color
(compare images of all three species)
Ponometia elegantulus has a paler distal half of forewing
other genera in the tribe Acontiini have a similar overall appearance
Print References
Crumb, S. E. 1956. The larvae of the Phalaenidae. USDA Technical Bulletin 1135: 51
Lafontaine, J. D. & B. C. Schmidt 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America North of Mexico. p.34 (1)
Powell, J. A. & P. A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press. pl.50.17m, p.280 (2)
Internet References
Nearctica - species page
Moth Photographers Group - range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems - species account with collection map and photos of pinned adults.
live adult images (Larry Line, Maryland)
live and pinned adult images (Dalton State College, Georgia)
pinned adult image plus common name reference [Olive-shaded Bird Lime Moth], description, similar species, distribution, food plants (Gerald Fauske, Moths of North Dakota)
pinned adult image (Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeastern Arizona)
presence in Florida; list (Michael Thomas, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .
2.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.