Cedar Creek
Ecosystem Science Reserve

Insects of Cedar Creek



(Noctuid Moths)

(Table of Species)

The Noctuidae is an extremely large family with 18 recognized subfamilies (2925 NA spp). Some routinely inhabit forests, others favor fields and gardens. Most commonly collected in Cedar Creek old fields are the cutworms (Noctuinae, Hadeninae) and loopers (Plusiinae, Catocalinae). 75 species were collected in Evan's old field in Michigan but I suspect that light-trapping was involved and some species drawn from other habitats. Many adults are common at Solidago blooms in late summer (Agrotis, Euxoa, Feltia, Xestia).

Sue Andreas Seabolt (LTER 1982) deserves much of the credit for light trapping many of these species as well as other Macros. More than 75 species have been collected at Cedar Creek.  It is likely that several of these species are misidentified, and a number of specimens (generally in poor condition) remain undetermined.  It is likely that this listing is but a fraction of the number of species to be found here.

The Pantheinae are forest species breeding on conifers and hardwoods. Charadra deridens and Pantheasp? have been collected. Other genera include (Colocasia, Raphia).

The Dagger Moths also breed on hardwoods in forest. Acronicta is the dominant genus. Species collected at Cedar Creek include: ?A. americana, A. dactylina, A. innotata, A. noctivaga, A. oblinita?. These species feed primarily on alder, birch, aspen and willow. Harrisimemna trisignata has also been collected. Other genera include (Simyra, Agriopodes, Polygrammate).

The Darts are common in CCESR old fields. Their Cutworm larvae are generally nocturnal omnivores cutting off herbaceous growth just above the ground. Species collected include: Feltia jaculifera+, Euxoa detersa+, Xestia dolosa, X. bicarnea+, Anaplectoides prasina, Euretagrotis sigmoides? Other genera include (Agrotis, Peridroma, Spaelotis).

The Arches include Cutworm and Armyworm larvae. Feeding habits are diverse; some are garden/crop pests. Species collected include: Sideridis congermana?, Polia sp, Lacanobia sp, Lacinipolia renigera, Faronta diffusa, Pseudaletia unipuncta, Leucania sp and Tricholita signata. Other genera include (Orthosia, Trichordestra, Nephelodes).

The Pinions and Sallows feed primarily on tree foliage. Species collected include Xylena curvimacula (aspen,willow), Eupsilia morrisoni?, Feralia comstocki (pine), and Cucullia asteroides (Solidago). Other genera include (Lithophanes, Eutolype).

The Amphypyrinae feed on grasses and sedges; many are borers, and some are cutworms. Species collected include: Papaipema sp (stem borer), Dipterygia rosmani (Polygonum), Platysenta videns (Asteraceae), Ipimorpha pleonectusa (aspen), Hyppa xylinoides (clover, rose+), Callopistria mollissima(ferns), Amphipyrapyramoides (grape, oak+). Other genera include (Apamea, Crymodes, Agroperina, Oligia, Amphipoea, Achatodes, Chytonix, Galgula, Elaphria, Balso).

These moths are among the more strikingly marked Noctuids, and many are day-fliers. Species collected include Eudryas unio (Oenothera), Psychomorpha epimenis (Vitis), and Alypia octomaculata (Vitis).

The Heliothinae include the Corn Earworm (Heliothis zeae) and the small, colorful Flower Moths (Schinia spp). Schinia lynx (fleabane), S. arcigera (asters) and S. florida (Oenothera) have been collected. Other Schinias that may occur here include S. lucens (leadplant) and S. gloriosa (Liatris).

Most Acontiinae are small white moths that feed on grasses and Polygonum in marshes. Three commonly encountered species are Lithacodia carneola (Polygonum, Rumex), Tarachidia candefacta and T. erastrioides (ragweed).

None collected. This subfamily includes the Sorghum Webworm, Nola sp.

Members of this subfamily commonly feed on alder or other Amentiferae. Species collected include Baileya doubledayi?.

None collected. Maranthyssa inficita feeds on sumac.

Most Loopers feed on grasses or sedges; and some are crop/garden pests. They are commonly encountered in CCESR old fields. Species collected include Autographa sp, Anagrapha falcifera, Trichoplusia ni, Rachiplusia ou, Plusia putnami, P. contexta, P. venusta, P. balluca?

The Owlets and Underwings are known to most people by the forest dwelling Underwings (Catocala spp). Most species feed upon aspen and willow; they can be collected by painting molasses on tree trunks or by light trapping. Catocala spp collected at Cedar Creek include: C. relicta, C. unijuga, C. briseis, C. cara, C. concumbens, C. amatrix (all aspen, willow), C. paleogama (hickory), C. ultronia (cherry), C. praeclara (juneberry), C. similis (oak), C. amica (oak). The Forage loopers Caenurgina crassiuscula and C. erechtea are common in old fields. Other species collected include Zale lunata (tree foliage) and Panopoda sp (oaks).

This subfamily includes the Green Clover Worm (Plathypenes scabra). Other genera include (Bomolocha and Spargaloma).

None collected. Hypenodes fractilinea occurs in this subfamily.

None collected. Genera include Rivula, Oxycilla, Colobochyla.

Members of this subfamily frequently feed on dry leaf litter. Species collected include: Idia americalis? (lichens) and Renia sp?.

webmaster@cedarcreek.umn.edu Last updated May, 2000