|scientific name Herminiinae |
This largest subfamily of small "deltoid" noctuid moths includes such familiar genera as the Idia, Chytolita, and Palthis. There are 90-100 species in 21 genera in North America; 17 species in 7 genera occur in Alberta. Herminiines are defined by a number of larval and adult morphological characters (four prolegs in the larvae, a prespiracular hood in the adult tympanum, and others. [Kitching and Rawlins, 1998; Fibiger and Lafontaine, 2005]). The larvae of most species feed on fungi in dead and decaying plant material, and even on dead insects and animal dung. A few, including Palthis, feed on living plant material.
Genus Idia. Male antennae heavily cilate and bristled, female lightly bristled only. Fore-tibia short and thick, without modifications. Palpi sickle-shaped, flattened, third segment blunt, very flat and blade-like. Adults are mostly small broad-winged nocturnal moths, resembling geometrids. There are 17 described North American species, with 5 described and 1 undescribed species in Alberta.
The larvae of most species feed on fungi in dead and decaying plant material, and even on dead insects and animal dung. A few, including Palthis, feed on living plant material.
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