Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Genus Mocis

Withered Mocis Moth - Mocis marcida Texas Mocis - Mocis texana Hodges #8746 - Mocis disseverans Mills1 - Mocis marcida Moth - Mocis disseverans Small Mocis - Mocis latipes Velvet like brown moth - Mocis texana Mocis disseverans  - Mocis disseverans
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 Erebinae
Tribe Euclidiini
Genus Mocis
Other Common Names
Grass Loopers (larvae)
Numbers
There are five named species of Mocis in America north of Mexico.(1)
Size
Wingspan 33-50 mm (2)
larvae to 60 mm
Identification
Adult: forewing variably yellowish, brown, pale grayish, or violet-brown; AM and PM lines distinct in some species, almost absent in others; hindwing yellowish-brown to grayish, often with noticeable PM line.

Larva: recognized by intersegmental dorsal black spots between A1-A2 and A2-A3 (but concealed in fold when larva is at rest); prolegs lacking on A3 and A4; body yellowish-brown with broad chocolate subdorsal and subventral stripes; wide yellowish-brown lateral area often divided by narrow dark brown stripe running through spiracles from T1 to A8; head pale brown with numerous fine stripes and contrasting white lines. [adapted from description by Wagner et al, who say that larvae cannot be reliably identified to species]
Range
mostly southeastern United States
M. cubana: Florida (and Cuba)
M. disseverans: South Carolina to Florida, west to Arizona
M. latipes: Missouri to North Carolina, south to Florida and Texas; strays northward in fall, occasionally as far as New York and Ontario
M. marcida: North Carolina to Florida, west to Texas, rarely straying northward as far as New York
M. texana: Minnesota through Ohio to Massachusetts, south to Florida and Texas
several other species occur in the neotropics and Australia
Habitat
fields, marshes, grasslands, mesquite scrub, and other open areas; adults are nocturnal and come to light
Season
adults fly from April to November, or all year in the far south
larvae from May onward, or all year in southern Florida and Texas
Food
larvae feed on forage and pasture grasses, as well as corn, rice, sorghum, and sugarcane, and may also feed on beans and turnips
Life Cycle
multiple generations per year; overwinters as a pupa, but larvae are present year-round in the far south
See Also
Mocis caterpillars may be confused with those of Caenurgia, Caenurgina, and Ptichodis
Print References
Covell, p. 170 (2)
Meagher, R.L. & Mislevy, P. (3)
Works Cited
1.Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico.
Donald J. Lafontaine, B. Christian Schmidt. 2010. ZooKeys 40: 1–239 .
2.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
3. Trapping Mocis spp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) adults with different attractants
Robert L. Meagher, Paul Mislevy. 2005. Florida Entomologist 88(4): 424-430.