Synaxis pallulata (Hulst)

  • Latin name: Synaxis pallulata (Hulst)
  • French name:
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Geometridae


Alberta, British Columbia



Damage, symptoms and biology

Synaxis pallulata is a common innocuous solitary defoliator.

Mature larva up to 32 mm long. When at rest the larva is a twig mimic. Head, light brown with dark markings. Body colour variable from yellowish cream to brownish grey to rusty brown. Body variously marked. Second thoracic segment swollen dorsally; paired tubercles near the posterior margin of the fourth, fifth and eighth abdominal segments.

This species appears to overwinter in the egg stage. Larvae are present from June to August. Pupation occurs in a slight cocoon near the surface of the soil in August, and adults emerge August to September.

Life cycle (West of the Rockies)

Life cycle (West of the Rockies)
Stage/Month J F M A M J J A S O N D

Canadian Forest Service Publications

Diet and feeding behaviour

  • Phyllophagous : Feeds on the leaves of plants.
    • Free-living defoliator: Feeds on and moves about freely on foliage.
Information on host(s)

Main host(s)

Amabilis fir, Engelmann spruce, grand fir, mountain hemlock, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, Sitka spruce, subalpine fir, western hemlock, western larch, western redcedar, white spruce

  • Dorso-lateral view of mature larva (rusty brown morph), on Douglas-fir
  • Dorso-lateral view of mature larva (brownish grey morph), on western larch
  • Lateral view of mature larva (creamy yellow morph), on western hemlock
Date modified: