Other Common Names
Alpie à huit points - En français :)… Ilze V-G.
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Alypia octomaculata (Fabricius)
Orig. Comb: Sesia octomaculata Fabricius, 1775
Explanation of Names
OCTOMACULATA: means 8-spotted; the wings have a total of 8 large spots or patches
Adult: forewing black (bluish sheen visible when fresh) with two large yellow or cream-colored patches; hindwing black with two large white patches; prominent hairy yellow shoulder stripes (tegulae); legs with prominent tufts of orange hair-like scales
Specimen identified by DNA analysis:
Larva: mature larva is a mixture of orange, black, and white: thick black-spotted orange band at base of each segement, followed by several thin black bands interspersed with thin white bands; dorsal surface with long sparse hairs
immature larva is orange interspersed with light gray areas
Primarily: TX-FL-ON-MN, but with scattered records across western N. Amer.; Maps: MPG
Open areas with flowers, presumably near woodland edges where hostplants grow.
Larvae feed on leaves of grape (Vitis
spp.), and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Adults take nectar from flowers of herbaceous plants, and fly during the day.
Adults emerge in early spring and lay eggs on hostplant in May and June; one generation per year in the north, or two in the south; overwinters as a pupa in the soil or in crevices of old wood
Often mistaken for a butterfly because it visits flowers during the day
) needs careful examination according to Lars Crabo:
"Alypia langtoni is common north and west and A. octomaculata is eastern. Note that Alypia langtoni is sexually dimorphic:
Female Alypia langtoni only have 6 spots (one on hind wing) whereas males have 8 spots (two on hind wing). Male A. langtoni have rings on the antennal shafts (which might not be visible on a photo) whereas A. octomaculata does not."
) has three white patches on forewing, lacks colored "shoulder pads", and occurs only in the far west (compare images
of all three species at CBIF)
has larger patches on forewing, a larger white patch at base of hindwing, and is restricted to southeastern United States
Crambids such as Grape Leaffolder
) and White-spotted Sable
) are similar
The former has only one white spot on the hindwing, lacks colored "shoulder pads", and has a long pointed abdomen; the latter is smaller, has three white spots on the forewing (the middle spot is tiny) for a total of ten spots on the wings, and lacks tufts of orange hair-like scales on the legs
In southern Texas, Androloma disparata
looks very similar. They do not have a white spot, behind the head and no white dorsal-stripe on the abdomen.
Moth Photographers Group
- range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
live adult images plus common name reference and hostplants (Larry Line, Maryland)
live larva image by Lance Risley, William Paterson University, New Jersey (forestryimages.org)
Kansas State University
live images by Jacalyn Goetz of adults and larvae of various ages
live larva image plus biology and damage to hosts (U. of Vermont)
Moths of North Dakota
pinned adult and live larva images, plus description, foodplants, similar species, distribution (Gerald Fauske, North Dakota State U.)
Insects of Cedar Creek
phenology (seasonality), habitat, foodplants (John Haarstad, U. of Minnesota)
pinned adult image, flight season, foodplants (Dale Clark, Texas)
distribution in Canada
list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)