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Genus Calyptra - Vampire Moths

small caterpillar - Calyptra canadensis Canadian Owlet Caterpillar - Calyptra canadensis erebid 3 - Calyptra canadensis Calyptra canadensis? - Calyptra canadensis canadian owlet? - Calyptra canadensis Calyptra canadensis - Canadian Owlet - Calyptra canadensis Meadow Rue 1 - Calyptra canadensis Canadian Owlet, lateral - Calyptra canadensis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Calpinae (Fruit-piercing Moths)
Tribe Calpini
Genus Calyptra (Vampire Moths)
Explanation of Names
Calyptra Ochsenheimer, 1816
CALYPTRA: from the Greek "kalyptra" (a veil), from "kalyptein" (to cover); perhaps a reference to the cloak-like forewing?
Numbers
1 species in North America listed at All-Leps
uncommon in the south; locally common in the north
Size
wingspan 33-40 mm
larva to 35 mm
Identification
Adult: forewing light brown with darker brown bands, pointed apex, and angular outer margin; PM line sharp, nearly straight, slanting from apex to inner margin; dark scaling along veins; note two scale tufts on inner margin, the basal tuft forming a prominent lobe, and the distal one a small sharp point; hindwing grayish-brown; antennae bipectinate in both sexes
[adapted from description by Charles Covell]

Larva: white with scattered black spots along the back; broad broken black stripe along each side. Head yellow with three black spots on each side
[description by David Wagner]
Range
Nova Scotia to North Carolina in mountains, west to Texas, north to Saskatchewan - straying to Alberta
Habitat
mesic and wet meadows; edges and clearings
Season
adults fly from June to September in the south; July and August in the north (Quebec)
larvae from May to ?
Food
larvae feed on meadow-rue (Thalictrum spp.)
Life Cycle
one generation per year
Remarks
Three species of this genus in Southeast Asia have been shown to feed on the blood of large animals, including humans!
The sclerotized proboscis can perforate the skin.
See Also
forewing of Curve-lined Owlet has similar color and pattern but PM line is pale, apex has whitish shading, and hindwing is pale brownish-yellow (compare adult images at MPG)
Curve-lined Owlet also has a southern distribution (doesn't occur in Canada), the moth is smaller, and the larva is very different
Internet References
live and pinned adult images by various photographers, plus common name reference (Moth Photographers Group)
pinned adult image (A.W. Thomas, Canadian Forest Service)
pinned adult image (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
description of adult plus habitat, food plant, distribution (Strickland Entomological Museum, U. of Alberta)
US distribution map (Moths of North America, USGS)
distribution in Canada list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)
food plant; PDF doc plus flight season and life cycle (Macrolepidoptera of Mont Saint-Hilaire Region, McGill U., Quebec)
presence in Texas; list (Dale Clark, Moths of Dallas County, Texas)