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Species Bellura gortynoides - White-tailed Diver - Hodges#9523

Unidentified Moth-2-20110818 - Bellura gortynoides White-tailed Diver - Hodges#9523 - Bellura gortynoides White-tailed Diver - Hodges#9523 - Bellura gortynoides Bellura gortynoides Bellura gortynoides Bellura gortynoides Bellura gortynoides Bellura gortynoides
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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 Noctuinae (Cutworm or Dart Moths)
Tribe Arzamini
Genus Bellura
Species gortynoides (White-tailed Diver - Hodges#9523)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Yellow Waterlily Borer
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Bellura gortynoides Walker, 1865
* phylogenetic sequence # 932513
wingspan of male 35-39 mm; female 42-45 mm
larvae to 52 mm
Adults - forewing variably light yellow with purplish shading to medium brown; PM line toothed, curved below costa; AM and median lines nearly straight; brownish blotches surrounding reniform spot and along outer margin near apex and anal angle; hindwing variably rosy pink to yellowish to grayish-brown
Larvae - pictured in Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America(1)
Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Mississippi, north to Alberta
adults fly from May to September
larvae from late fall to spring (overwinter)
larvae feed on leaves and stems of Yellow Pond-lily (Nuphar lutea), including subspecies N. l. advena
[reports of other hosts such as cattail and pickerelweed (2) are thought to be in error due to confusing synonymy of Bellura species]
Life Cycle
two generations per year in the south; one generation in the north; overwinters as a mature larva; eggs are laid in clusters on leaves of hostplant, hatching in 5-6 days; young larvae mine the leaf blade during first three instars; subsequent instars bore into petiole, creating a burrow in which they feed with their head below the waterline, while breathing atmospheric oxygen through spiracles in their tail; pupation occurs within the petiole
Print References
Lafontaine JD, Schmidt BC (2010) Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America North of Mexico. (3)
Walker, 1865: 465 (4)
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - range map, photos of living and pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems - species account with collection map and photos of pinned adults.
adult images and other info (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult image by Jame Adams, and distribution (Dalton State College, Georgia)
common name reference [White-tailed Diver], plus foodplant and flight season (Ohio State U.)
detailed description of larva and pupa; PDF doc plus foodplant, biology, behavior, anatomical drawings (Roger Heitzman and Dale Habeck, U. of Florida, courtesy of Harvard U.)
distribution in Canada list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)
Works Cited
1.Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2011. Princeton University Press.
2.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.
3.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 .
4.List of the specimens of lepidopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part XXXI - Supplement. Part 1.
Francis Walker. 1865. British Museum (Natural History), p.1-321.