Sallow Moth, but which one???

Green and black moth
Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 9:31 AM
This little moth has come back this year to the same spot on the white wall at work here in Kingston WA. Another one was here the same time last year in April. It is only about 1 inch long, but it’s colors are so lovely. I haven’t seen it with it’s wings open, so don’t know what the body looks like. Hope you can tell me what it is. Where does it start it’s journey, and where does it end it? I’ve seen 2 or 3 of them this year, but not together. Glad you’re writing a book! Hope you include my moth!
Kingston, WA 98346

Sallow Moth
Sallow Moth

Hi Mary,
This is a Sallow Moth in the genus Feralia based on photos posted on BugGuide. It is a lovely green owlet moth in the family Noctuidae. We are uncertain of the exact species, though a few have interesting common names. It might be The Joker, Feralia jocosa, which has been reported from nearby Idaho, or it might be the Deceptive Sallow Moth, Feralia deceptiva, which has been reported from Washington State and Oregon as well as across the border in British Columbia, Canada. The adults fly in early spring and the caterpillars eat the foliage of Douglas Fir.  We believe the species we find in Southern California is Feralia februalis whose larvae feed on the foliage of oaks. After numerous discussions with our publisher, we have determined that we will not be using photo illustrations for our book, but rather vintage entomological drawings since we are producing an entertaining popular culture book as opposed to a traditional identification fieldbook.

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