|scientific name Syngrapha alias |
common name Hooked Silver Y
Coniferous and mixedwood forest.
In Alberta, adults are on the wing from late June through August.
A medium-size moth (3.0-3.4 cm wingspan) with dark grey-black forewings and brown hindwings. Forewings are blackish grey with scattered white scaling in the basal area and along the costa, especially near the apex. The lines and spots are also incompletely marked with white scales. The area below the stigma is more solid dark grey or black. Silver stigma is prominent and moderately thick, V-shaped and usually joined to a solid satellite spot. Hind wings are yellow-brown, shading to a broad sooty marginal band. Antennae are simple and the sexes are alike. Very similar to S. abstrusa, which averages a bit smaller, browner, and often has the stigma separate from the satellite spot. Abstrusa also flies a bit earlier than alias (June versus July) and prefers drier habits. The genitalia must be examined to positively separate the two species. Male clasper valves of alias are short, reaching about one-third or less of the width of the valve, while in abstrusa, it extends almost to the margin. See also S. octoscripta, S. interrogationis, S. rectangula and S. angulidens.
The adults are nocturnal and come to light. The larvae are solitary defoliators of conifers. They also overwinter as larvae.
A common, widespread species; no concerns.
Data for Canada, including Alberta, show the larvae utilize a variety of coniferous trees as hosts, including spruce (Picea), fir (Abies), hemlock (Tsuga), pine (Pinus) and Tamarack (Larix). White spruce (Picea glauca) is by far the most frequently recorded host, followed by Balsam fir (Abies balsamifera).
Newfoundland to Alaska and Vancouver Island, north to near treeline and south in the west to coastal north California and Arizona; in the east to North Carolina. In Alberta, alias is found throughout the Boreal forest, Foothills and Mountain regions, as well as in the Cypress Hills, wherever coniferous forest is present.
Comments are published according to our submission guidelines. The EH Strickland Entomological Museum does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.