|scientific name Euxoa catenula |
Arid shortgrass prairie, badlands and xeric open woodland.
Adults have been collected in Alberta during the last week of August and the first half of September
A medium-size (3.4-3.7 cm wingspan) pale grey-white moth. The forewings are light chalky grey or tan, almost white, with a few scattered black scales. The transverse lines are reduced to a prominent black mark where each would meet the costa, with the postmedian line also indicated by a series of small spots or dashes at the veins. The orbicular spot is reduced to a few black scales or a small spot, and the reniniform is a prominent, black doubled spot. The terminal line is a series of small black triangles, and the fringe is light grey-white. The hindwings are bright white with a dark discal mark, sooty brown scales lining the veins, and a white fringe.
Pale specimens of E. spumata and E. tronella lack the prominent dark spots at the costa, and are light tan, not grey. Most likely to be mistaken for Agrotis vetusta, which is larger and lacks the dark scaling at the reniform spot. There are also excellent genital characters that will separate catenula from similar species. Catenula belongs to the subgenus Euxoa. Keys to the subgenera and species of Euxoa, along with illustrations of both sexes and their genitalia, are available in Lafontaine, 1987.
There is a single brood each season, which emerges in late summer and overwinters in the egg stage. Adults are nocturnal and are attracted to light. The immature stages have not been described.
An uncommon but widespread species; no concens.
No Alberta data. Like most Euxoa, a general feeder on a variety of low plants. In Montana larvae have been collected on wheat (Tritium) , sweet clover (Meliotis), lupines (Lupinus), Russian thistle (Salsola), mustards (Cruciferae), violets (Viola), and milk-vetch (Astragalus).
Southern Saskatchewan west to southern Vancouver Island, south to Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California. In Alberta catenula has been collected north to Calgary and Dinosaur Provincial Park.
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