Schizura ipomaeae Doubleday, 1841

93-0098

Morning-glory Prominent Moth

Identification

Adults

Schizura ipomaeae is our largest Schizura species (FW length 18–22 mm). Its forewing has a pointed apex and weakly scalloped outer margin. It is gray-brown to red-brown with a whitish gray anterior margin that is palest at the apex. The wing is streaky, with portions of the transverse lines evident as short lines on the veins. The discal spot is a narrow dark gray or red-brown bar surrounded by a pale halo. The fringe is checkered light and dark brown. The male hindwing is pale yellowish white with dark gray at the anal angle, base of the fringe, and medial margin; a postmedial band is evident at the margin, occasionally nearly to the anterior margin in some individuals. The female hindwing is dark gray with lighter fringe and areas near the base. As in other Schizura the male antenna is bipectinate at the base with a long narrow apical section; that of the female is simple.

The large size, streaky brown forewing with a pale gray costa, and broad male antenna differentiates this species from all other moths in our region. Our other Schizura species are predominantly gray.

Larvae

Larva has short hairy scoli or tubercles, and is mottled green and purple-red with three mid-dorsal humps.  It is illustrated by Miller & Hammond (2003).

Habitat

This species is common in hardwood forests throughout much of North America.  In the Pacific Northwest, it is particularly common in coastal rainforests, oak woodlands, mixed hardwood forests at low elevations west of the Cascades, and in riparian zones at low elevations east of the Cascades.

Distribution

Pacific Northwest

Schizura ipomaeae is found in forests throughout our region as far north as southern British Columbia. It is found in foothills of mountains but does not range further into steppe habitats.

Global

This species is broadly distributed in North America. It occurs throughout the East where it is the most common Schizura species.

Life History

Larvae

This species is a generalist feeding on many kinds of hardwood trees and shrubs, particularly in the families Fagaceae, Betulaceae, Rosaceae, and Ericaceae.

Adults

Adults appear to be single brooded and fly from late May to mid August. They are nocturnal and come readily to light.

Economic Importance

This species is sometimes a pest in fruit orchards.

Literature

BugGuide

Forbes (1948)

Miller & Hammond (2003)

Moth Photographers Group

Powell & Opler (2009)