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Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America

Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America

David L. Wagner
Dale F. Schweitzer
J. Bolling Sullivan
Richard C. Reardon
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 576
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  • Book Info
    Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America
    Book Description:

    This lavishly illustrated field guide features more than 800 species of the most common, interesting, beautiful, and important owlet (noctuid) caterpillars found in eastern North America. More than 2,100 color photographs include numerous stunning images, and the guide's introductory sections offer a wealth of information on noctuid natural history, morphology, larval diets, natural enemies, and classification; suggestions for finding and rearing owlet caterpillars; and much more. The 375 full-page species accounts treat similar species, range, phenology, and larval foodplants. A remarks section addresses behavior, life history, taxonomy, and a variety of other general interest topics. For full species accounts, two adult images are provided, one of a spread museum specimen and the other of a live adult: this is the first guide to comprehensively provide images of live adult moths in representative resting postures. An extensive glossary and foodplant index are also included.

    More than 800 species of eastern owletsMore than 2,100 color photographs illustrating many species for the first timeFirst North American insect guide to offer hundreds of images of live moths in their natural resting posturesExtensive information on owlet biology, natural enemies, classification, and finding and rearing owlet caterpillarsIncludes foodplant records for each species and foodplant index

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3829-5
    Subjects: Zoology, Biological Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-2)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 3-3)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 4-4)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 5-6)
  5. Photographic Credits
    (pp. 6-8)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 9-37)

    Owlet moths represent one of the most successful branches on the tree of life, whether measured in terms of species numbers, mass, or ecological importance. Adults range in size from a little over 7 mm to what may be the New World’s largest insect, the White Witch (Thysania agrippina), which has a wingspan that sometimes exceeds 30 cm. Noctuoid taxonomy and classification is undergoing a renaissance. Current classifications differ markedly in the number of recognized families and subfamilies for this group of moths. The Noctuidae have been treated as a single family historically, but now are frequently divided into smaller...


    • Quadrifine Owlets (Family Erebidae)
      (pp. 38-191)

      Erebids are a splendidly heterogeneous lot, varying substantially in form and life history. The family is fantastically diverse in the tropics, where thousands of new species await description. We omit mention of two erebid subfamilies, the Lymantriinae and Arctiinae, which have been treated elsewhere (e.g., Ferguson 1978 and Wagner 2005). Phylogenetic relationships within the erebids were the focus of a recent, much-needed molecular study by Zahiri et al. (2011). In the adult, the hindwing appears to have four veins leaving the lower reach of the discal cell (and hence the common name quadrifine or quadrifid owlets). We know of no...

    • Elves (Family Euteliidae)
      (pp. 192-197)

      This tropical family includes seven widespread eastern moths; additional species occur in Florida and Texas. The family shares similarities withBaileyas(Nolidae: Risobinae): the facies of the larvae are alike, with prepupae turning pinkish red, both incorporating leaf fragments into the walls of their cocoon, and the pupae lacking cremasters. Caterpillars tend to be green, stocky, and thickest about the thoracic segments, with a flurry of creamy to white spots. The large head is partly withdrawn into the thorax. Legs are small, at least in proportion to the body. On A1 the SV group is bisetose or trisetose. SD1 is...

    • Nolas and Punkies (Family Nolidae)
      (pp. 198-211)

      This heterogeneous family is represented in North America by five subfamilies: the Nolinae, Chloephorinae, Collomeninae, Risobinae, and Afridinae. Including undescribed taxa, about two dozen species occur in our region. The family, and in particular the Nolinae, is richly represented in lowland rainforests of the Neotropics, where it is not uncommon to find 20 or more species flying at a single station. Larvae frequently bear an exceptionally long seta from the D and SD1 setal warts at either end of the body (T1–T3 and A7–A9). At least three subfamilies (Nolinae, Risobinae, and Afridinae) painstakingly weave numerous, small pieces of...

    • Trifine Owlets (Family Noctuidae)
      (pp. 212-551)

      As currently circumscribed, the Noctuidae includes 20 subfamilies in North America, all but two of which are represented in this guide. More than 2500 species have been recorded north of Mexico, and thus trifines account for nearly 70% of the Nearctic Noctuoidea. No larval characters uniquely unite the members of the family. In most there are only two SV setae on A1 and A2, and SD1 is hairlike (fine) on A9, although some (early diverging) subfamilies have three SV setae and an undifferentiated SD1 seta on A9 as in erebids. The latter character is somewhat variable both within the Erebidae...

  8. Glossary
    (pp. 552-554)
  9. Cited Literature
    (pp. 555-562)
  10. Foodplant Index
    (pp. 563-568)
  11. Species and Subject Index
    (pp. 569-576)