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Part 1: Noctuoidea

J. T. Troubridge  and  J. D. Lafontaine

Here we illustrate approximately 1,600 species of the superfamily Noctuoidea, almost half of the 3,400 North American species. The Noctuoidea include the Notodontidae (Prominents), Arctiidae (Tiger Moths), Lymantriidae (Tussock Moths), Noctuidae (Cutworm Moths), and Nolidae. Unfortunately, only a few groups of moths are popular with amateur collectors so distributional information on most families remains rather spotty. Popular groups are the Hawk or Sphinx Moths (family Sphingidae), the Giant Silk Moths (family Saturniidae), Tiger Moths (family Arctiidae), and a group of cutworm moths called Underwing Moths (family Noctuidae: genus Catocala). Except for the Tiger Moths and Underwing Moths, the Noctuoidea remain poorly collected.

The higher classification of the superfamily Noctuoidea is presently under study and recent North American check lists do not reflect modern thinking. We loosely follow Kitching and Rawlins, 1999 (The Noctuoidea. pp. 355401. In Kristensen NP. (Ed.) Lepidoptera: Moths and butterflies. Volume 1: Evolution, systematics and biogeography. Handbook of Zoology/Handbuch der Zoologie. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin/New York). Species are listed in alphabetical order by family, subfamily, tribe, genus, and species. The single exception to this sequence is found in the Noctuidae, which is divided into three natural groupings. Group two we call "noctuids with hairy larvae" for lack of a better term. This group is comprised of the subfamilies Acronictinae, Bryophylinae, Pantheinae, and Raphiinae. Groups one and three are made up of the quadrifid and trifid noctuids respectively.

Species identifications are based on determinations in the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Ottawa, Ontario.
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