|scientific name Heliothis oregonica |
common name Oregon Gem
Montane meadows and prairie grasslands.
Adults are on the wing from mid-June to mid-August.
A rather small moth (wingspans 2.4-3.0 cm). Forewing pale olive brown, mostly overlaid with a blackish olive brown scales. Basal area and a thick rounded basal streak dark reddish black. The orbicular and reniform large and prominent against the paler ground, frequently fused. A broad olive-black terminal band, with the subterminal and terminal areas separated by a thin, faint stripe. The hindwing is creamy white, with a large black discal mark and some dark scaling along the inner margin and basal areas, and a wide black terminal band with a small, indistinct pale patch near the anal angle. Superficially very similar to H. ononis, but darker and less contrasting. H. ononis also lacks the large dark orbicular spot present in oregonica. H. phloxiphaga is larger and much paler yellow-tan.
The Oregon Gem is mainly a species of the mountains and foothills. The adults are diurnal. Like other members of the genus, they feed on a variety of low plants, eating the flowers and developing seeds.
No Alberta data. Like most members of the genus, it is reported to utilize a number of low plant species. Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja) appears to be a favored host; Artemesia and Geranium have also been reported in the literature.
Western; from the Peace River area of Alberta south and west in the mountains to California and Arizona. There is also an apparently disjunct population in north central Quebec.
In Alberta found throughout the mountains, and east to Edmonton and into the Peace River District.
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