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

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

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

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 Cerastis enigmatica - Enigmatic Dart - Hodges#10995.2

Cerastis enigmatica - male Cerastis enigmatica - male Cerastis enigmatica - female Possible Cerastis enigmatica - Cerastis enigmatica Cerastis enigmatica - Enigmatic Dart Moth   10995.2 - Cerastis enigmatica - male Cerastis enigmatica? - Cerastis enigmatica - male 933540	Cerastis enigmatica - Cerastis enigmatica - male Unknown Moth - Cerastis enigmatica
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 Noctuini
Subtribe Noctuina
Genus Cerastis
Species enigmatica (Enigmatic Dart - Hodges#10995.2)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cerastis enigmatica Lafontaine & Crabo, 1997 (1)
Phylogenetic sequence # 933540 (2)
Explanation of Names
the suggested common name of Enigmatic Dart is based on the specific epithet; perhaps this moth was an enigma to early taxonomists until it was described and differentiated from similar species in 1997, but this is speculation
wingspan about 33 mm, based on photo of specimen by Jeff Miller
Adult: forewing reddish-brown with pale yellowish-red subterminal area; orbicular and reniform spots fused together to form a large white-rimmed V-shaped spot; dark brown patches border three sides of fused spot; fringe pinkish; thoracic collar pale yellow, contrasting with dark brown remainder of thorax; hindwing light grayish-yellow with pink tint
Specimens identified by DNA analysis:
British Columbia to California
wet west coast forests
adults fly in early spring
larvae feed on leaves of Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)
See Also
Willow Dart (Cerastis salicarum) forewing has a V-shaped median line and slender black clavicular spot
Catocaline Dart (Cryptocala acadiensis) forewing has a black terminal band, an "open" orbicular spot that fuses with the costa, and its hindwing is black with a large yellow patch
(compare images of all three species at CBIF)
Cerastis gloriosa is larger and its forewing has fused white discal spots
Stretchia muricina median area of forewing is completely dark reddish-gray, orbicular spot is "open" and fused with costa; and thorax lacks a yellow collar
Print References
Crabo, L. & J.D. Lafontaine. 1997. A revision of the cornuta group of Cerastis subgenus Metalepsis (Noctuidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 51 :237-248. (1)
Lafontaine, J.D., 1998. The Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 27.3. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, p. 44; pl. 1.26-27. (3)
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press, pl. 58, fig. 10; p. 313. (4)
Internet References
pinned adult image plus description, habitat, distribution, flight season, foodplant, similar species (Jeff Miller, Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands, USGS)
presence in California; list (U. of California at Berkeley)
Works Cited
1.A revision of the Cerastis cornuta group of the genus Cerastis subgenus Metalepsis (Noctuidae)
Lars Crabo, J Donald Lafontaine. 1997. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 51(3): 237-248.
2.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 .
3.The Moths of America North of Mexico, Noctuiodea, Noctuinae, Noctuini (Part), Fascicle 27.3
J. Donald LaFontaine. 1998. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.
4.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.
5.Pacific Northwest Moths
6.North American Moth Photographers Group
7.BOLD: The Barcode of Life Data Systems