Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Cosmia elisae - Hodges#9814.1

Cosmia elisae Cosmia elisae Cosmia elisae Cosmia elisae Moth - Cosmia elisae moth - Cosmia elisae Cosmia elisae Cosmia elisae? - Cosmia elisae
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 Xylenini
Subtribe Cosmiina
Genus Cosmia
Species elisae (Cosmia elisae - Hodges#9814.1)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
described as a new species by Lafontaine and Troubridge in 2003
one of 4 species in this genus in North America listed at All-Leps
wingspan 25-29 mm, based on three Internet photos
larva length to 25 mm
Adult: forewing light to medium gray with distinct black lines and black-rimmed spots filled with ground color; reniform spot bent into V shape; orbicular spot oval or irregular-shaped, sometimes connecting to reniform spot; claviform spot narrow, pointed; AM line usually thin, slightly sinuate, bending outward at inner margin; PM line irregular, toothed; subterminal line scalloped, with paler shading beyond it; terminal line a series of black dashes; diffuse dark spot near anal angle; hindwing grayish with indistinct and diffuse subterminal band; fringe pale

Larva: head green, unmarked; body green with prominent white middorsal and subdorsal stripes; spiracular stripe white with dark green margin above
British Columbia and Alberta to California and Arizona
coniferous forests in western mountains; adults come to light
adults fly from June to September
larvae from May to July
pupae in June and July
larvae feed mainly on foliage of Douglas-fir; other hosts include Western Hemlock, Amabilis Fir, Grand Fir, Subalpine Fir
Life Cycle
one generation per year; overwinters as an egg
Sometimes misidentified as Cosmia (=Achytonix) epipaschia, a species which is known only from a single specimen (the holotype) collected in New Mexico and described by Grote in 1883. See Remarks section on genus page for comments quoted from the Print Reference below.

An All-Leps image taken from this page seems atypical in that its AM line is thick, arc-shaped, and doesn't bend outward at the inner margin. Judging from the pin label, the specimen was collected in Summerhaven, Arizona; perhaps its appearance is more typical (?) of southern specimens.
See Also
Cosmia praeacuta forewing reniform spot is slightly curved but not bent into a V shape, and its AM line is heavy/thick, gently arc-shaped, and usually not bent outward at inner margin
Print References
Lafontaine, J.D., and J.T. Troubridge. 2003. Review of the genus Cosmia (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in North America, with description of a new species. The Canadian Entomologist. 135: 325-336.
Internet References
live larva images plus description, foodplants, distribution, biology (Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada)
abstract of article describing new species (J.D. Lafontaine and J.T. Troubridge, The Canadian Entomologist)
distribution in Canada (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)