|scientific name Heliothis phloxiphaga |
common name Spotted Buff Gem, Spotted Straw
Wooded edges, meadows, and other open areas.
Adults are on the wing from May through September.
A medium-sized (3.3-3.7 cm wingspan) light yellow-brown or tan moth with darker markings. There is a broad darker brown median band crossing the forewing, which angles sharply inward at the lower end of the large blackish reniform, and a dark triangular patch near the apex. The hindwing is dirty white or very pale buff with a large dark thick discal crescent and a broad black terminal band with a pale, split spot at the anal angle. The very similar H. acesias has a yellowish (not buff) hindwing, less contrast on the forewing, and the forewing median band is not as sharply angled. There are also genitalic differences (see Hardwick, 1994). H. ononis is significantly smaller, less yellow and lacks most of the fine spotting on the forewing found in phloxiphagus. H. oregonica is smaller and darker.
Adults are reported to be both nocturnal and diurnal in activity, and while most often are taken at lights, may be found feeding and ovipositing during the day. Like other species of the genus, the larvae feed on the flowering parts and seeds of the host.
No special concerns.
No Alberta data; elsewhere reported to utilize a wide variety of plants.
Across southern Canada from southern Ontario to southern BC, south to central Mexico. It has been collected across the southern half of Alberta, north to Edmonton.
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