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Lambdina fiscellaria, the mournful thorn or hemlock looper, is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found in North America, from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast and from Canada south to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and California.

Lambdina fiscellaria
Hemlock Looper, Bon Echo.jpg
Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Genus: Lambdina
Species: L. fiscellaria
Binomial name
Lambdina fiscellaria
Guenée, 1857

3, see text

  • Ellopia fiscellaria Guenée
  • Ellopia fervidaria Hubner
  • Ellopia somniaria Hulst
  • Lambdina flagitiaria Guenée, (1858)
  • Lambdina peccataria Guenée, (1858)
  • Lambdina johnsoni Swett, 1913
  • Lambdina turbataria Barnes & McDunnough, 1916
  • Therina fiscellaria

The adult is grey to cream coloured with scalloped wing borders and resembles the oak besma. Darker line across fore and hind wings, a second line across fore wings. Area between lines may be shaded or unshaded.[1]

The wingspan is about 35 mm. The moth flies from August to early October depending on the location.[1]

The larvae feed on hemlock, balsam fir, white spruce, oak and other hardwoods.


There are three recognised subspecies:

  • Lambdina fiscellaria fiscellaria – eastern hemlock looper
  • Lambdina fiscellaria lugubrosa – western hemlock looper
  • Lambdina fiscellaria somniaria – western oak looper or Garry oak looper


  1. ^ a b Sogaard, Jim. (2009) Moths and Caterpillar of the North Woods. Duluth, MN:Kollath+Stensaas, p.53.

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