Lynn Scott's  
06651 Lycia ursaria 24b
06651 Lycia ursaria 33 06651 Lycia ursaria 21


Lycia ursaria

Ottawa (Dunrobin), ON Canada

18 April 2007   11:24PM EDT  (top)
26 April 2007   11:03PM EDT  (bottom left)
5 May 2006   11:23PM EDT  (bottom right)

Lycia ursaria, sometimes called the Stout Spanworm Moth, is one of two species of Lycia recorded from the Ottawa area.  My initial identification of Lycia ursaria was based on Covell (1984) and Handfield (1999), with additional information obtained from McGuffin, W.C., "Guide to the Geometridae of Canada (Lepidoptera), II.  Subfamily Ennominae.  2", Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada, no. 101 (Ottawa: 1977).

The forewing of Lycia ursaria is gray-brown, with a mixture of light gray and darker gray-brown scales.  The dark gray antemedial line curves slightly outwards in the middle.  The dark gray medial line angles outwards and is typically heaviest near the costa, then bends inward to follow a slightly sinuous course to the inner margin.  The postmedial line bends inward to approach and then parallel the medial line from a little more than halfway down the wing to the inner margin. The area beyond the pm line is divided by a fairly wide line or band of pale gray.  The hindwing is pale gray, with darker gray medial and postmedial lines and a subterminal shade heaviest at the inner margin.  Both forewing and hindwing fringes are checkered light and dark gray.  The abdomen is stouter than is usual among geometrid moths, and is thickly covered with gray-brown hairs, its bear-like "fur" doubtless giving rise to the species name ursaria.  McGuffin (1977) indicates a wing expanse of 40 to 47 mm.

According to Handfield (1999), the larva of Lycia ursaria has been reported to feed on many plants, including dogwood, ninebark, birch, willow, alder, basswood, poplar, elm, ash, apple, blueberry, maple, cherry and others. For the area of Quebec adjacent to my part of Ontario, he indicates the adult moth flies in April, but my observations suggest a flight season from about mid-April nearly to mid-May for my location.

My records to date for Lycia ursaria (each date representing "the night of") are in the table below:

Month 0102030405060708091011 121314151617181920 2122232425262728293031
April 141617181920 21222324252627282930
May 0102030405060809 12

Page last modified 10 August 2007
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