|scientific name Syngrapha abstrusa |
common name Abstrusa Looper
Dry or well drained coniferous forest.
The only two Alberta adults for whom data are available were collected during the later half of June
A medium-size (3.0-3.2 cm. wingspan) dark grey-brown moth with lighter mottling in the basal and terminal areas. There is a prominent white v-shaped stigma with a round accessory spot or extension. The hindwings are brown, shading to a dark sooty-brown terminal band. Abstrusa is superficially almost identical to Syngrapha alias, but is usually slightly smaller and browner. The genitalia must be examined to make positive identification. In the male, the clasper of abstrusa is about 3x as long as the basal width, and extends to the dorsal margin of the valve (1x the basal width and extending no more than half way to the margin in alias). In females, the ductus bursae is long and thin, 5-6x as long as the width near the junction with the corpus bursae in abstrusa, but only 3-4x as long as wide in alias.
Adults are nocturnal and come to light, but have also been collected at dusk while nectaring at fireweed. There is a single brood each year. Abstrusa is usually on the wing earlier in the season than alias (June versus July-August), and tends to be found in drier habitats than alias.
A rarely collected species, but widespread and with secure habitat.
No Alberta data; elsewhere it has been reared from Englemann spruce (Picea englemanni), White spruce (Picea glauca) and Jack pine (Pinus banksiana)
Newfoundland west to south central British Columbia and western Montana, south in the mountains to northern New Mexico. In the east, south to New Jersey, Ohio and Wisconsin. In Alberta it has been taken in coniferous forest along the southern edge of the Boreal forest region in central Alberta.
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