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Xestia mustelina (Smith)

  • Latin name: Xestia mustelina (Smith)
  • French name:
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Noctuidae


British Columbia

This species is generally distributed throughout British Columbia from the Nass and upper Fraser drainages south; it also occurs south to California.



Damage, symptoms and biology

Xestia mustelina is a common innocuous solitary defoliator.

Mature larva up to 26 mm long. Head, cream coloured with brown netting. Body brown, dorsum light brown with white middorsal and subdorsal stripes; broad yellowish white spiracular stripe.

This species overwinters in the egg stage. Larvae are present from May to mid-July; pupation occurs in July and adults emerge from July to August.

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)

The principal hosts of Xestia mustelina are Douglas-fir and western hemlock; other hosts include western redcedar, grand fir, amabilis fir, subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, white spruce, Sitka spruce, western larch and mountain hemlock.

Main host(s)

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


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