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Species Tarache aprica - Exposed Bird Dropping Moth - Hodges#9136

 Acontia aprica (Exposed Bird Dropping Moth) - Tarache aprica Tarache aprica - female brown and white moth - Tarache aprica brown and white moth - Tarache aprica Exposed bird dropping moth - Tarache aprica Pennsylvania Moth - Tarache aprica - male Pennsylvania Moth - Tarache aprica - female Acontiinae - Bird Dropping Moth - Tarache aprica
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 Tarache
Species aprica (Exposed Bird Dropping Moth - Hodges#9136)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Acontia aprica (Hübner, [1808]
Noctua aprica Hübner, [1808]
N. alboater Haworth, 1809
Acontia biplaga Guenée, 1852
A. unocula Freyer, 1849
A. redita Felder and Rogenhofer, 1874
Phylogenetic sequence #931343 (1)
34 species of Tarache are found in America north of Mexico.(1)
wingspan 15-29 mm
Adult: sexually dimorphic - male forewing white basally with two black patches along costa, the distal patch merging with general blackish shading beyond PM line, leaving white patch near apex; female forewing mostly dark gray or blackish except for two white patches along costa, and some white at base and outer margin; small black orbicular spot surrounded by white, and usually prominent in both sexes hindwing whitish or pale gray; dark grayish-brown shading along outer margin in female only

specimen identified by DNA analysis (BOLD) from Mark Dreiling

. . . . . .

Larva: Chunky, green- to brown-mottled often with prominent black spot around spiracle on A1. Small swellings above spiracles on abdomen (evident when larva is at rest). Face flattened, heavily mottled with black, appreciably darker than posterior half of head; jet black spot above each antenna; labrum and triangle with lower half filled with black (inset). Prothoracic shield strongly pigmented; some forms with hint of orange spiracular line passing through first two thoracic segments. Dorsal pinacula pimplelike, small embedded in black spot; enlarged over A8. Vague, zigzagging lateral stripe dropping down prolegs on A5 and A6. Hump over A8 rounded. Spiracles black with white halo. Thoracic legs with black bands. Larva to 3 cm.
mostly: e US to s. CA - Map (MPG)
gardens, fields, open areas; adults can be flushed from plants during the day
adults fly from March to September in the south; reduced season in the north
larvae feed on leaves of Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)
See Also
Ponometia candefacta) has greenish-yellowish shading and large dark reniform spot on forewing.

. . . . . . . . .
P. erastrioides), blackish patch on forewing does not reach costa or outer margin

. . . . . . . . .
the Four-spotted Bird Dropping Moth (Tarache tetragona) is similar to T. aprica but orbicular spot usually obscured by blackish medial shading, not surrounded by white as in T. aprica

in the southwest, a number of other Tarache species look similar to aprica
Tarache tetragona is consistently a smaller species than aprica. The forewing expanse of tetragona is 7 to 8 mm. from base to apex compared to about 10 mm. in aprica. The male hindwing below of tetragona lacks the dark costal marking found in aprica. The female hindwing of aprica is always white at its base. In contrast the female hindwing of tetragona is uniformly tan-brown. The hindwing of the male of quadriplaga has a consistently dull yellow-brown hindwing and not the white hindwing of aprica. The hindwing of a female quadriplaga is completely tan-brown. In contrast the hindwing of the female aprica hindwing is white with a dark grayish outer margin Nearctica
Print References
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press, pl. 50, fig. 25; p. 280. (2)
Internet References
Noctuidae of North America - (4)
Moths of Maryland - Larry Line
distribution in Canada only Ontario and Quebec (CBIF)