|scientific name Syngrapha ignea |
common name Mountain Beauty
Subalpine and lower elevation meadows, roadsides, clearings, edges and other non-wooded habitats.
Adults have been collected in Alberta from late June through early August.
A medium-size moth (2.9-3.2 cm wingspan) with reddish-brown forewings and bright yellow-orange hindwings. The forewings are brown with the lower two-thirds of the area between the antemedian and postmedian lines darker, almost black. Stigma is a silver dash and narrowly forked at the upper end. Hindwings are bright yellow-orange, with a black terminal band. Very similar to S. alticola, which has darker, blackish-brown forewings, a shorter stigma and a more zigzag terminal line. Other Syngrapha species with yellow hindwings (borea, orophila, microgamma) have mainly grey forewings and different stigmas. Autographa sansoni is larger and has pale yellow hindwings. There are also genitalic differences (see References). The antennae are simple and the sexes are similar. Older literature refers to ignea as S. hochenwarthi, a closely related Palearctcic species.
Adults of the Mountain Beauty are active both during the day and at night, and are attracted to lights. There is a single brood each season.
A common widespread species; no concerns.
No Alberta data. The only available host plant information is from lab rearing at the CNC. Larvae in the lab were reared on blueberry (Vaccinium) but switched to willow (Salix) in the late instars.
Primarily a western mountain species (northern Alaska south to southern California and New Mexico, with an apparently disjunct population in Labrador), but also found sparingly across the boreal forest and the subarctic. In Alberta, it has been collected throughout the mountains and foothills, east to the Calgary and Lethbridge (?) areas. It should be watched for in the Alberta Cypress Hills and in the Boreal Forest region.
Comments are published according to our submission guidelines. The EH Strickland Entomological Museum does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.