SMALL PHIGALIA

Phigalia strigataria
GEOMETRID MOTH FAMILY (Geometridae)

Description
The Small Phigalia male adult has a forewing length of between 5/8 and 3/4 inch and a wingspan of 1.50 inches. The forewing is pale gray and grayish brown with blackish shading and black lines. The cross lines are black and thin. The PM line is broken. This moth is very similar to the Half-wing (Phigalia titia), but the Half-wing has a double PM line that goes across the wing. The hindwing is tan with pale markings. The flightless female is dark gray and has very small wings. The larva is extremely variable and can be gray, yellow-brown, red or dark brown and mimics a twig. It grows to 1.25 inches.

Occurrence
This moth appears in early spring. It has been photographed in late March, 2013, mid-March 2015 and early March 2017 at Fontenelle Forest Nature Center. They may be found in Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods from March through May.

Comments
The larva eats the leaves of elm, hickory and oak. The species overwinters as a pupa.

Disclaimer: The content of NatureSearch is provided by dedicated volunteer Naturalists of Fontenelle Nature Association who strive to provide the most accurate information available. Contributors of the images retain their copyrights. The point of contact for this page is: Babs Padelford.