|scientific name Xestia fabulosa |
Boreal and montane coniferous forest.
In Alberta specimens have been collected from early June to mid July.
Fabulosa belongs to the subgenus Pachnobia. They are medium-size moths (4.0 4.4 cm wingspan) grey or grey-brown moths, with some specimens pink-brown. The forewings are crossed by prominent, somewhat jagged antemedian and postmedian lines, the later arching outward in the median area and with the line dragged outward at each vein. There are two or more small, black inward facing darts in the upper half of the terminal area, and the terminal line is comprised of a series thin black crescents between the veins. The orbicular spot is large, oval and filled with pale grey scales. It is outlined with black along its lower half, but open to the costa on the upper half. The reniform is smaller, partly outlined with dark scales and partially filled with a diffuse patch of darker scales. The hindwings are sooty grey or grey-brown with a poorly defined discal mark and median line. Specimens from the mountain regions tend to be grey and somewhat washed out in appearance, while those from the boreal region are reported to often have brown tones and stronger contrast contrast. The illustrated specimen from Touchwood Lake is pink-brown instead of grey. Fabulosa is most likely to be confused with X. homogena, but the open orbicular, dark scales in the reniform, and the more contrasting lines will identify fabulosa.
There is a single annual brood, which emerges earlier than most Xestia species do. Adults are nocturnal and come to light. The larva is illustrated in color in Lafontaine, 1998.
Xestia fabulosa is apparently rare, and usually only one or two specimens are collected at any one site.
A rather rare but widespread species; no concerns.
Larvae probably utilize blueberry (Vaccinium sp.) as do the most closely related Palearctic species. Records from spruce (Picea) are likely errors (Lafontaine, 1998).
Newfoundland and Labrador west to Yukon and northern Washington, north to treeline and south in the mountains to Colorado in the west and the northern New England states and New York in the east. In Alberta it has been collected in the mountains in the Nordegg-Jasper region and in the boreal forest near Lac la Biche (Touchwood Lake).
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