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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Litoprosopus futilis - Palmetto Borer Moth - Hodges#8556

Caterpillar - Litoprosopus futilis Moth with Eye Spots  - Litoprosopus futilis cat - Litoprosopus futilis Moth_ - Litoprosopus futilis Litoprosopus futilis Caterpillar from Botany Bay - Litoprosopus futilis Caterpillar - Litoprosopus futilis Litoprosopus futilis
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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 Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Dyopsinae
Genus Litoprosopus
Species futilis (Palmetto Borer Moth - Hodges#8556)
Hodges Number
8556
Other Common Names
Cabbage Palm Caterpillar (larva)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Litoprosopus futilis (Grote & Robinson, 1868); new comb. in Grote Trans. Am. Ent. Soc. 2 (1): 308
original combination Dyops futilis Grote & Robinson, 1868; Trans. Am. Ent. Soc. 2 (1): 202
* phylogenetic sequence #931096
Numbers
one of 5 species in this genus in North America listed at All-Leps
Size
wingspan 40-48 mm
larva length to about 40 mm
Identification
Adult: forewing brown to orangish with broken double AM and PM lines, not contrasting much against ground color of wing; hindwing brown with large white-edged black spot near anal angle; the spot has two white linear dashes inside it; fringe white
Larva: head and cervical shield black; body pale pink with sparse long white hairs protruding from black tubercles on each abdominal segment; spiracles black; larvae turn very pink shortly before pupating
Range
coast of se states (s.TX-FL-NC) - Map (MPG)
Habitat
on or near larval foodplants (various species of palm)
Season
Mar-Sept, yr-round in TX & FL (MPG)
larvae present in spring
Food
larvae bore in flower stalks and buds of palm trees in the genera Sabal, Serenoa, and Washingtonia
large larvae sometimes eat smaller larvae of the same species
Remarks
larvae regurgitate when disturbed, and the discharged material appears to deter some predators
larvae form cocoons from bits of cloth, fiberglass, and other synthetic materials after leaving foodplant; can be a minor household pest
See Also
Palm Flower Moth (Litoprosopus coachella) forewing is tan or pale gray with two dark diagonal marks along costa, and hindwing has two black-rimmed white spots near anal angle; it occurs in Arizona and California
Print References
Dekle, G.W. 1999 (rev. 2005) Cabbage Palm Caterpillar, Litoprosopus futilis (G. & R.) (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Noctuidae: Ophiderinae). EENY-095 pp. 1-4
Internet References
UF/IFAS Extension - G.W. Dekle, U. of Florida