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Identification key to the Arctiidae occurring in the Dakotas

          Each page of this key contains two to four comparative statements, along with accompanying illustrations and links to successive pages.  By following the links (like the game of 20 questions), you will end up at the name and picture of your specimen.  Species names are then linked to individual species pages.  One can return to previous pages in case of doubtful choices.  This key works best with pinned specimens in relatively good condition and at times requires a hand lens or a low power microscope (for strict picture matching see the photo gallery), however, since every couplet is illustrated and, with the easy facility of retracing your steps, even pictures or good sightings can be narrowed to at most a few species.  When identifying a specimen, be sure to scroll to the bottom of each page so as not to overlook a key statement.      

    As of this writing, there is an "e-record" of Haploa contigua from Grand Forks County, North Dakota, on the USGS Moths of North America website, but the accompanying picture is of  H. lecontei.  All Haploa from Grand Forks County in the NDSIRC are H. lecontei and this record is treated as erroneous.  Because Covell lists this species from South Dakota, it is included in the key below.  Additionally, as of this writing, the USGS website has the pictures and text for Hypoprepia fucosa and H. miniata transposed, as such, none of those records are included on this website.  Along a similar vein, there are four species of Holomelina known from the Northern Great Plains.  Two of these, H. ferruginosa and H. laeta are easily identified.  Holomelina fragilis and H. aurantiaca are not as easily separated.  What is clearly H. fragilis occurs in southeastern North Dakota and similarly, H. aurantiaca occurs in southeastern South Dakota.  In the western half of each state there are apparently intermediate specimens assignable to either species, solving this problem is a 'work in progress' and in this key and accompanying text, these populations have been referred to H. fragilis.  For another perspective on this type of problem see: The Grammia complex in North Dakota.  

    Pictured below and linked to their respective species accounts, are the ten most common species of arctiids in North Dakota.  In the following key, species not known to occur in North Dakota are marked with an asterisk (*).







Begin key

Return to Family Arctiidae


Last updated: 08/07/04

Gerald M. Fauske
Research Specialist
202 Hultz Hall
Fargo, ND 58105
E-Mail: Gerald.Fauske@ndsu.nodak.edu

Published by the Department of Entomology 

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