|scientific name Nycteola cinereana |
common name Grey Midget
Deciduous (poplar) woodland.
In Alberta, adults have been collected from late August to mid October.
A small (2.5-3.1 cm wingspan) "square-winged" light grey moth with shiny white hindwings. The adults come in several form, the most common with the forewings marked with a large dark triangular patch in the upper median area, and an oblique black streak along the wing base. The antemedian and postmedian lines are doubled and sinuous, and the round reniform spot has a rust-red pupil. There is also a thin black terminal line. Some specimens lack the dark patches and are quite uniform in color. The hindwings are shiny white, darkening slightly toward the margin. The antennae are simple and the sexes are similar. The similar N. frigidana is darker grey and lacks the dark edging or basal streaks along the wing base, and often have an egg shaped white or silvery patch near the upper forewing base. There are also a number of similar appearing Tortricid moths.
According to Prentice (1962) the larvae feed as colonial tent makers when common, but are also frequently found as single defoliators. The late fall-early spring flight period may indicate that adults overwinter. Adults are occasionally collected in light traps, but they are apparently not strongly attracted to lights and may be much more common than trapping would indicate.
A widespread species; no concerns.
Poplars, and in particular Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera).
Newfoundland west across Canada to southern BC. In Alberta the Grey Midget has been collected in the Boreal forest and parkland regions, north to Zama and south to Edmonton and Didsbury.
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