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Macromoths of Northwest Forests and Woodlands

Xanthorhoe defensaria [Geometridae]

JPG-Xanthorhoe defensaria

Wingspan 2.5 cm. Forewing is gray to yellow with a wavy black median band. This geometrid is very common and widely distributed in western North America. Moths fly in spring and again in fall. Caterpillars feed on the foliage of herbaceous plants.

Similar species: Xanthorhoe defensaria represents a large group of very similar moths with wavy black to gray median bands and have caterpillars that feed on the foliage of herbs. These include seven species of Xanthorhoe; three species of Epirrhoe (Geometridae) that have broad, black submarginal borders; Orthonama centrostrigaria forewing with an interrupted median band; Euphyia unangulata (Geometridae) forewing with a broad, black subapical patch; Zenophleps lignicolorata (Geometridae) forewing with the median band mostly pale brown to gray.

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