Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Abrostola urentis



This moth belongs to the interesting subfamily Plusiinae, most of whose caterpillars are "semi-loopers" and have only two pairs of mid-abdominal legs. Abrostola is an exception, for the caterpillars have the usual complement of four. Many Abrostola caterpillars, including, apparently, members of this species in eastern Canada, have a patch of solid colour on the dorsal side of the first two abdominal segments, but this has been absent on all caterpillars I have found here. The caterpillars feed on stinging nettle. Like many plusiines, they are quite easy to rear. They pupate in a cocoon attached to the foodplant and emerge in a few weeks. A British member of the genus is called "The Spectacle", and one of these pictures shows why. Abrostola urentis is wearing a nice pair of spectacles - although a stickler for correctness might point out that it is wearing them on its thorax rather than in front of its eyes.

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