Sthenopis purpurascens


Sthenopis purpurascens, the four-spotted ghost moth, is a species of moth of the family Hepialidae. It was described by Packard in 1863. It is found in Canada and the United States, from Labrador and New York north and west to British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, south in the mountains to Arizona.

Sthenopis purpurascens
Sthenopis purpurascens 53060911.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hepialidae
Genus: Sthenopis
S. purpurascens
Binomial name
Sthenopis purpurascens
(Packard, 1863)[1]
  • Gorgopis purpurascens Packard, 1863
  • Gorgopis quadriguttatus Grote, 1864
  • Sthenopis semiauratus Neumoegen and Dyar, 1893

The wingspan is 66–100 mm. There are two color forms, a purple-grey and a yellow-brown form. The latter was previously thought to be a separate species, Sthenopis quadriguttatus. The forewings have a darker oblique median band, a darker terminal area and darker spots along the costa. There are two small, silver spots near the wing base. The hindwings are purple brown or salmon pink and generally unmarked.[2]

The larvae feed on Populus, Salix and Alnus species. They bore into the roots of their host plant. The larvae have a cream-white body and brown head and reach a length of 50–60 cm. They need two years to complete their lifecycle


  1. ^ Nielsen, Ebbe S.; Robinson, Gaden S.; Wagner, David L. (2000). "Ghost-moths of the world: a global inventory and bibliography of the Exoporia (Mnesarchaeoidea and Hepialoidea) (Lepidoptera)" (PDF). Journal of Natural History. 34 (6): 823–878. doi:10.1080/002229300299282. S2CID 86004391.
  2. ^ Robinson, E. & Anweiler, G. G. "Species Details: Sthenopis purpurascens". University of Alberta Museums. E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum. Retrieved December 26, 2020.

External linksEdit

  • Hepialidae genera