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Species Ostrinia penitalis - American Lotus Borer - Hodges#4946

Moth 1185 - Ostrinia penitalis Ostrinia penitalis_#4946 - Ostrinia penitalis American lotus borer - Ostrinia penitalis Celery Leaftier - Ostrinia penitalis Ostrinia penitalis Ostrinia penitalis for September - Ostrinia penitalis Ostrinia sp. #2 - Ostrinia penitalis Crambidae: Ostrina penitalis - 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
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

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
larvae feed on American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea) and smartweed (Polygonum spp.)
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
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
(compare images of both species at MPG)
Internet References
live adult images by Hugh McGuiness and Jim Vargo respectively (Moth Photographers Group)
pinned adult image and comparison photos of simlar species by Jim Vargo (Moth Photographers Group)
description and biology plus foodplants and control (United States Army)
live larva and adult images and damage to host plants (United States Army)
pinned adult image by John Glaser, plus collection dates, distribution, and foodplants (Larry Line, Maryland)
distribution map plus subspecies and references (Markku Savela, FUNET)
presence in Ontario; list (NHIC; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)