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Genus Gnophaela

Gnophaela vermiculata - male Unidentified specimen - Gnophaela vermiculata Gnophaela latipennis or Alypia ridingsii - Gnophaela latipennis - male - female Police Car Moth - Gnophaela vermiculata Tiger moth ... Gnophaela sp. - Gnophaela vermiculata - male Moth - Gnophaela vermiculata Gnophaela vermiculata Police Car Moth - Gnophaela vermiculata - female
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 Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Pericopina
Genus Gnophaela
5 species in North America
Adult: all black except for large white spots on wings
Larva: yellow with uniformly-distributed patches of black hairs that partly obscure the yellow ground color
We have been staring at the caterpillars of Gnophaela and here's what we think we've discerned:
1) vermiculata has small yellow spots, 'footprints', down the back that are separated into discrete spots.
2) discreta has spots that are slightly larger and are mostly continuous, not discrete - despite the name!
3) latipennis has the largest spots, almost as wide as long, and continuous
vermiculata: discreta: latipennis:
western United States, with one species (G. vermiculata) reaching southwestern Canada
Larvae feed on Boraginaceae (latipennis is poliphagous) according to HOSTS
Internet References
pinned adult images by Paul Opler, and US distribution maps of: G. aequinoctialis, clappiana, discreta, latipennis, vermiculata (
live larva image of G. latipennis plus description, food plant, seasonality (Jeffrey Miller, Caterpillars of Pacific Northwest Forests and Woodlands; USGS)