Moths of North Dakota

Family Hepialidae
: Ghost moths

Diagnosis: f/hw both with multiple branched radial sector vein (Rs), termed homoneurous venation; meta- tibiae without spurs.

Diversity: Worldwide about 500 spp. in 50 genera; U.S. 18 spp. in 2 genera; in North Dakota only a single species has been recorded.

Checklist numbers: 18- 36

Biology: Males of many species form mating swarms around a single female.  Others have 'Yo-Yo' like courting flights. Females may lay up to 30,000 eggs which are broadcast in flight. Larvae are root feeders and borers, earlier instars may be fungivores.


moth image


Further reading:

Ferguson, Douglas C.  1979.  A new ghost moth from the southern Appalachian mountains (Hepialidae).  J. Lep. Soc.  33(3): 192-196.

Forbes, William T. M. 1923. Hepialidae, pp. 66-69 in Lepidoptera of New York and neighboring states. Part I. Primitive forms, Microlepidoptera, Pyraloids, Bombyces. Cornell Agric. Exp. Sta. Mem. 68: 729 pp.

Holland, William Jacob. 1903. Hepialidae, pp 443- 444 in The Moth Book. Doubleday, Page & Co., New York. 479 pp.

Kristensen, Neils P. 1999. Chapter 5. The Homoneurous glossata, pp. 51- 69 in Kristensen, Neils P. ed. 1999. Lepidoptera, moths and butterflies. Part 35, Vol. 1 in Handbook of Zoology. Maximilian Fischer ed. Walter de Gryter, New York. 491 pp.

Scoble, Malcom J. 1992. Chapter 9. Primitive Lepidoptera, pp. 192-212 in The Lepidoptera: form, function, and diversity. Oxford Univ. press. 1982. 404 pp.



Last updated: 03/27/02

Gerald M. Fauske
Research Specialist
202 Hultz Hall
Fargo, ND 58105

Published by the Department of Entomology 

Prospective students may schedule a visit by calling 1-800-488-NDSU.