Species Details

Alsophila pometaria

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum Read more about this collection »

Common NameFall Cankerworm SeasonalityAdults fly after the first fall frosts have occured, peaking in mid October. IdentificationMales have an even brownish grey forewing with jagged white and dark PM and AM lines, occasionally with a visible dark discal spot. The hindwings are light grey, with a dark discal spot and a faint pale PM line. The females are wingless and stout-bodied, looking very unlike a lepidopteran.

Scientific Name Alsophila pometaria Common Name Fall Cankerworm Seasonality Adults fly after the first fall frosts have occured, peaking in mid October. Identification
Males have an even brownish grey forewing with jagged white and dark PM and AM lines, occasionally with a visible dark discal spot. The hindwings are light grey, with a dark discal spot and a faint pale PM line. The…
Males have an even brownish grey forewing with jagged white and dark PM and AM lines, occasionally with a visible dark discal spot. The hindwings are light grey, with a dark discal spot and a faint pale PM line. The females are wingless and stout-bodied, looking very unlike a lepidopteran.
Life History
The larvae are often a serious pest of many tree species elsewhere, although it rarely reaches densities high enough to do damage in Alberta. The eggs are laid in clusters on tree branches and trunks by the wingless…
The larvae are often a serious pest of many tree species elsewhere, although it rarely reaches densities high enough to do damage in Alberta. The eggs are laid in clusters on tree branches and trunks by the wingless females and hatch the following spring, synchronized with the flush of leaves. There are four larval stages, which are described in detail by McGuffin (1988). Larvae pupate in the soil and delay their emergence until fall, spending about four summer months as a pupa. Females in at least some populations are able to reproduce parthenogenetically (without mating). (McGuffin 1988).
Conservation No concern; often reaching pest status. Diet Info
Larvae feed on a large variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, especially elm (Ulmus spp.), ash (Fraxinus spp.), and maple (Acer spp.), which are non-native to Alberta but often planted in cities and as shelterbelts.
Larvae feed on a large variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, especially elm (Ulmus spp.), ash (Fraxinus spp.), and maple (Acer spp.), which are non-native to Alberta but often planted in cities and as shelterbelts.
Range
Nova Scotia west to Alberta, south to Colorado and California (McGuffin 1988). In Saskatchewan and Alberta, this species is associated with Manitoba Maple shelter belts in the southern parts of the province. It did…
Nova Scotia west to Alberta, south to Colorado and California (McGuffin 1988). In Saskatchewan and Alberta, this species is associated with Manitoba Maple shelter belts in the southern parts of the province. It did not occur historically in the Edmonton region, but is now established here and is often common in October on city Elm trees.

Citation

Page Citation for Alsophila pometaria

Page Citation

"Alsophila pometaria, University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum." University of Alberta Museums Search Site, https://search.museums.ualberta.ca/g/2-3776. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Kingdom Animalia Phylum Arthropoda Class Hexapoda Subclass Insecta Order Lepidoptera Suborder Ditrysia Superfamily Geometroidea Family Geometridae Subfamily Oenochrominae Genus Alsophila Species Alsophila pometaria
This hierarchy is created from our museum records, it may not always accurately reflect modern taxonomies.

Taxonomic Hierarchy for University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum