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Genus Phymatopus

Phymatopus hectoides (tentative) - Phymatopus hectoides - female Phymatopus sp ? - Phymatopus hectoides Resting on a leaf - Phymatopus Phymatopus?  boy, these are confusing - Phymatopus Mating moths - Phymatopus hectoides - male - female Red moth with white spots - Phymatopus behrensi Red moth with white spots - Phymatopus behrensi Phymatopus californicus
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Hepialoidea (Ghost Moths)
Family Hepialidae (Ghost Moths)
Genus Phymatopus
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
formerly treated as Hepialus (All-Leps lists no species of Hepialus in North America)
3 species in North America listed at All-Leps - with 4 synonyms for each species
wingspan about 27 mm, based on Jim Vargo specimen of P. hectoides at MPG
Adult of P. hectoides: forewing medium grayish-brown with mottling and diffuse white patches along costa; two oblque lines edged with brownish-red cross wing in median and subterminal areas; hindwing uniformly grayish-brown; head and thorax covered with long dense hair
other species are not currently pictured on Internet but assumed to be reasonably similar in appearance
west coast states and Arizona
adults fly from May to July
larvae bore in shoots and roots of various plants: apple, false willow (Baccharis spp.), figwort (Scrophularia spp.), Horkelia species, lupine (Lupinus spp.), sneezeweed (Helenium spp.), woolly sunflower (Eriophyllum spp.), and various ferns
adults do not feed
Life Cycle
The following applies to P. californicus: one generation per year; pupae eclose in late fall, and females broadcast many hundreds to several thousand eggs while flying over patches of lupine bushes during winter and spring nights; small first and second instar larvae develop in the soil under lupines and feed on the exterior of the upper portions of lupine tap root; by mid to late spring, caterpillars burrow into plants and create extensive feeding galleries inside a plant's central shoot and at the top portion of the plant's central tap root; often, many caterpillars can be found inside the same plant, and dammage to plant tissue can be extensive; individuals complete their development in fall, when they pupate
[text by John Maron]
Internet References
pinned adult image of P. hectoides by Jim Vargo (Moth Photographers Group)
pinned adult image of P. hectoides (Bruce Walsh, Moths of Southeastern Arizona)
biology; PDF doc of P. californicus (John Maron, U. of California, courtesy U. of Montana)
adult collection dates and locality; search on genus Hepialus (Lepidopterists Society Season Summary, U. of Florida)
larval foodplants for each species (The Free Encyclopedia,
presence in California list of all 3 species in North America (U. of California at Berkeley)
synonyms of all 3 species (D.L. Wagner, U. of California at Berkeley)