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Species Ostrinia penitalis - American Lotus Borer - Hodges#4946

Ostrinia penitalis Crambidae: Ostrinia penitalis? - Ostrinia penitalis Moth on a raft - Ostrinia penitalis Crambidae: Ostrinia penitalis - Ostrinia penitalis American Lotus Borer - Ostrinia penitalis Ostrinia sp. #1 - Ostrinia penitalis Ostrinia penitalis Ostrinia penitalis - American Lotus Borer - Ostrinia penitalis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Pyraustinae
Genus Ostrinia
Species penitalis (American Lotus Borer - Hodges#4946)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Ostrinia penitalis (Grote, 1876)
Pyrausta penitalis
Tholeria pyraustalis Dyar, 1925
Pyrausta rubrifusa Hampson, 1913
Pyrausta nelumbialis Smith, 1890
Botys penitalis Grote, 1876
Phylogenetic Sequence # 801420
wingspan about 21 mm, based on specimen by Jim Vargo at MPG
Adult: forewing orangish to light brown with zigzag AM line and jagged PM line that includes a large projecting "tooth" near the inner margin; ST line jagged and more diffuse than PM line; outer part of median area with dark diffuse blotch, and inner part with smaller dark spot; hindwing light gray with yellowish shading in outer half, dark discal spot, and dark PM and ST lines; adults rest with their forewings touching, hiding the hindwings.
Specimens identified by DNA analysis:

Larva: body pale greenish-yellow with dark dorsal line and subdorsal spot on each abdominal segment; head brownish.
Quebec to British Columbia and all of United States, south to Amazon basin
marshes and pondsides where foodplants grow
adults fly from May to September in the north; earlier in the south
American lotus, Nelumbo lutea (1)
Smartweed, Polygonum [Persicaria?] L., sp. indet. (1)
Smartweed, Polygonum densiflorum [Persicaria glabra] (1)
Smartweed, Polygonum hydropiper L. [Persicaria hydropiper] (1)
Smartweed, Polygonum punctatum [Persicaria punctatum] (1)
Life Cycle
a mass of up to 60 eggs is laid on upper surface of leaf of hostplant, and covered with an amber-colored material; young larvae attach themselves to the leaf by thin silken strands, which prevents them from becoming dislodged by wind or wave action; mature larvae are often covered entirely by a loose silk net, and entire portions of a leaf may be rolled over the larva; mature larvae tunnel into the leaf petiole and form a burrow where pupation occurs; adults emerge from previously-formed exit holes in the petiole. - This information is from a defunct US Army webpage which as of 2019 is still accessible at here. The same information found in Center et al. (2002)(1).
See Also
European Corn Borer (O. nubilalis) forewing lacks a large "tooth" in lower part of PM line, and its median area is usually darker, giving the wing a bicolored appearance

Smartweed Borer Moth - Ostrinia obumbratalis
Works Cited
1.Insects and other arthropods that feed on aquatic and wetland plants
Center T.D., Dray F.A., Jubinsky G.P., Grodowitz M.J. 2002. USDA ARS, Technical Bulletin 1870. 200 pp.
2.North American Moth Photographers Group
3.BOLD: The Barcode of Life Data Systems