Protoboarmia porcelaria (Guenee)

  • Latin name: Protoboarmia porcelaria (Guenee)
  • French name:
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Geometridae


Quebec, Newfoundland, Ontario, British Columbia

This species is generally distributed throughout British Columbia; it also occurs north to the Yukon, east to Newfoundland and south to Texas and Florida.


Leaf, Needle

Damage, symptoms and biology

Protoboarmia porcelaria is a common innocuous solitary defoliator.

Mature larva up to 25 mm long. Head, grey with cream coloured herringbone pattern on each lobe, vertex moderately cleft. Body, slender, mottled gray and white; dorsum with both a distinct white + as well as a dark Y pattern on abdominal segments one to six; spiracular line marked with conspicuous white rectangles; small lateral tubercles on each abdominal segment.

This species overwinters as a penultimate instar larva. Larval feeding resumes in spring and continues until June. Pupation occurs from late June to July and adults emerge in July. Females lay up to 150 eggs on foliage in July and larvae emerge soon after. Young larvae feed during August and September before sheltering for the winter.

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 host of Protoboarmia porcelaria is Douglas-fir; other hosts include Engelmann spruce, white spruce, Sitka spruce, black spruce, western hemlock, western redcedar, subalpine fir, grand fir, amabilis fir, western larch and tamarack as well as several hardwood species.

Main host(s)

Balsam fir, red spruce, tamarack, white spruce

Secondary host(s)

Black spruce, Douglas-fir, eastern hemlock, eastern redcedar, eastern white-cedar, eastern white pine, jack pine, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, red pine, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, Rocky Mountain juniper, scots pine, subalpine fir, sugar maple, western hemlock, western redcedar

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