The taxonomy, phylogeny and zoogeography of the thirteen species of the subgenus Schoyenia known from the Holarctic region are reviewed. Four species are described as new: X. thula from northern U.S.S.R. and northern Canada; X. woodi from Yukon Territory, Canada; X. magadanensis from Chukotka, U.S.S.R., and X. fergusoni from Alaska. A new subspecies of X. lyngei. Xestia lyngeí aborigenea from Magadanskaya Oblast', is described. Three species and five generic names are placed in synonymy for the first time and seven new combinations are proposed. Two lectotypes are designated. Illustrations of adults and male genitalia, and range maps, are given for each species. Female genitalia of nine species are illustrated. The larvae of four species, X. intermedia (Konon.), X. aequaeva (Benj.), X. bryanti (Benj.) and X. lyngei (Reb.) are described and illustrated; the cremasters of the pupae are also described and illustrated.