Ottawa (Dunrobin), ON Canada
1:32AM EST (left)
10 June 2002 1:14AM EST (right)
is one of several species of Furcula that may occur in my area,
several of which are quite similar in appearance. Compare this moth
with Furcula occidentalis (7939), also illustrated on this web
site. When I first encountered Furcula borealis in 2000,
Covell's 1984 field guide was my only reference book, and I cheerfully labelled
the photos as Furcula borealis, only to remove the label again in
2001 when Handfield's 1999 guide to Quebec moths informed me of the other similar
species. Eventually, in 2002, some much appreciated help from Jeff
Crolla of Toronto and Dr. J. Donald Lafontaine of Agriculture Canada enabled
me to sort out three Furcula species among my photographs.
known as the White Furcula, Furcula borealis shows a striking pattern
of dark gray and white. The medial area of the forewing is filled with
dark gray, while the basal and subterminal areas are a glistening white in
the few specimens I have photographed. Basal, subterminal and terminal
lines are represented by rows of black dots. There is also blotch of
dark grey at the costal edge just outside the subterminal line. In
both photos above, it is also possible to see a hint of rusty orange picked
out along the outer edge of the dark gray median; the visibility of these
specks of dark orange varies from one specimen to another.
to be general agreement that the larval host plant is black cherry (Prunus
serotina); poplar and willow have also been given as host plants by some
experts. Furcula borealis does not appear to be very common in
my general area, according to Handfield, who notes a flight period for the
adult moth from the beginning of June through mid-August.
photographed this species in 2000 on 30 May; in 2002 on 9 and 10 June.