Family Geometridae Hodges # 6665
Caterpillar foods: many woody shrubs & trees, including apple, ash, basswood, birch, cherry, elm, hazel, hickory, maple, oak, poplar, rose, willow (Wagner)
The adult males fly very late in the fall. I’ve seen them flying late in the day, with their wings catching the sunlight; and they’ve come at night, to my lighted sheet. The ones I’ve seen are all males – females are wingless, and wait on tree trunks for the males to come to them.
According to both Wagner and Covell, numbers of this species vary a lot from year to year. Usually their numbers are low, but once in a while their populations irrupt and can cause defoliation of trees. One warm night near the end of October 2013 I saw 44 individuals at my lights – that’s the largest number I’ve seen at one time.
Wing color and patterns vary quite a lot from one individual to another.
I’ve found the caterpillars a few times, but have never successfully raised one.
5/31/2009 on a young Burr Oak
6/8/2009 Caterpillar with leaf damage on Burr Oak