|scientific name Tarachidia semiflava |
common name Yellow-cloaked Midget, The Half-yellow
Dry open areas such as sandy prairie, old beaches and dunes.
Adults have been collected in Alberta from mid June to mid July.
A small (1.8-2.4 cm wingspan) bright yellow and purple-brown moth. The head, thorax and basal half of the forewings are bright yellow, except for a small spot of purple-brown at the wing base. The sharply divided outer half of the forewing including the fringe is dark purple-brown, mixed with white scales in the apical area, giving it a slightly frosted appearance. The hindwings are light brown or white peppered with brown scales, which also line the veins and form a diffuse dark outer border. The hindwing fringe is brown on the basal half and white on the outer half. Antennae simple; sexes alike. Impossible to mistake for any other Alberta insect.
The adults are nocturnal and come to light, but are also easily flushed during the day. There is a single brood. The larvae have apparently not been described.
A widespread but uncommon moth; possibly a dune specialist.
Unknown. No Alberta data. The only reported host is Trumpets or Pitcherplant (Sarracenia flava) (Covell, 1984). This would be a very unusual host and is certainly a case of mistaken identification, The unrelated but superficially almost identical Exyra semicrocea (Gn.) does use Sarracena as its host.
New England south to Florida and Arizona; north to southern Manitoba and west to the southern interior of British Columbia. In Alberta it has been collected locally from the Milk River north to Lloyminster and Redwater, west to Olds.
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