Small pine looper

Small pine looper -
  • Latin name: Eupithecia palpata Pack.
  • French name: Arpenteuse (petite) du pin
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Geometridae
  • Synonym(s): Eupithecia transcanadata MacKay


Quebec, Newfoundland, Ontario, British Columbia

This species is generally distributed throughout British Columbia; it also occurs east to Newfoundland and south to North Carolina.



Damage, symptoms and biology

Eupithecia palpata is a relatively uncommon innocuous solitary defoliator.

Mature larva up to 20 mm long. Head, unmarked reddish orange. Body, elongate; dorsum rusty brown with dark middorsal stripe; yellow stripe along lateral flange.

This species overwinters in the pupal stage. Adults emerge from June to late July, larvae are present from June to late September, and pupation occurs from September to October.

Canadian Forest Service Publications

Small pine looper

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 Eupithecia palpata are lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir; other hosts include Engelmann spruce, white spruce, western hemlock, subalpine fir, amabilis fir, grand fir and ponderosa pine.

Main host(s)

Balsam fir, black spruce, eastern white pine, jack pine, lodgepole pine, red spruce, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, white spruce

Secondary host(s)

Douglas-fir, eastern hemlock, Engelmann spruce, pitch pine, ponderosa pine, red pine, scots pine, Sitka spruce, subalpine fir, tamarack, western hemlock, western white pine

  • Small pine looper Chrysalis
  • Small pine looper Larva on needle
  • Small pine looper Larva
  • Small pine looper
  • Small pine looper
  • Small pine looper
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