|scientific name Tarachidia binocula |
common name Prairie Bird-dropping Moth
Dry native grassland.
Adults have been collected in Alberta in late June.
A small (approx. 2 cm wingspan) bright white moth with the outer half of the forewing crossed by a broad dark brown and grey band except for the costa, which is white for two-thirds of its length and divided at the mid-point by an orange patch. There is a round dark spot ringed with paler scales at the end of the disc. The hindwings are white, shaded with grey brown near the margin, more extensively in the female. Fringes white and antennae simple. The related Conochares arizonae is similar but has more dark scaling on both wings and lacks the yellow-orange of binocula.
Adults are nocturnal and come to light, but are also easily flushed during the day. There is a single annual brood. The larva has not been described and the host plants are unknown.
Rarely collected in Alberta, which is at the northwestern edge of its range.
Great Plains from southeastern southern Manitoba west to southeastern Alberta, southwest to Arizona. Also in remnant prairies east of the Mississippi (Ohio, Illinois). In Alberta it has been collected in the arid shortgrass prairie region, north to Medicine Hat.
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