|scientific name Cucullia montanae |
In Alberta montanae has been collected sparingly in the foothills and grasslands
Alberta specimens have been collected from early July to mid August.
A medium-size (approximately 4.4-5.0 cm. wingspan) long-winged grey and brown moth. The forewings are a mix of dull grey and brown, with the central and basal areas paler than the leading and trailing edges. The reniform and orbicular spots are large, filled with with light brown scales and partially outlined with black. The trailing edge of the forewing is narrowly bordered with black scales, widening toward the outer margin and forming a small curved crescent mark before reaching the anal angle. The hindwings are dull white with a broad sooty brown marginal band, and with the veins finely lined with brown scales. The brown scaling on the forewings rather than blue grey or violet grey combined with the paler central and basal areas and the broad well defined band on the hindwings will separate montanae from all other Alberta Cucullia. A key to the North American species, along with illustrations of the adults and the genitalia of both sexes, are provided in Poole (1995).
There is a single annual brood. The nocturnal adults fly in Alberta in summer. The larvae are described by Crumb (1956) and Poole (1994). Recorded host plants include Grindella sp. (gumweed) and Chrysothamnus sp. (rabbitbrush) both Compositae.
Uncommon in Alberta, which is at the northern edge of the range; no reasons for concern.
No Alberta data; elsewhere larvae have been found on gum-weed (Grindelia sp.) and rabbitbrush (Crysothamnus sp.), both in the family Asteraceae.
Widespread in the northern Great Plains and western mountains, from southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta west to Vancouver Island, east and south to Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, west Texas, southern Arizona, New Mexico and California. In Alberta montanae has been collected sparingly in the foothills and grasslands north to Olds and Medicine Hat.
Bowman gives July as the flight period in Alberta, although the only specimen in his collection is labelled as collected in mid-August.
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