|scientific name Melipotis jucunda |
common name Merry Melipotis
Wooded riparian shrub in the arid grasslands region.
Alberta specimens have been collected in late May.
A medium-size (3.5-4.0 cm wingspan) grey, black and white moth with black and white hindwings. Sexes dimorphic. Females have gray forewings, with fine dark streaks along and between the veins, and with a short darker apical streak. The reniform is marked by a few black and brown scales. Fringe grey. Hindwings bright white with grey on the veins, and with a wide dark grey marginal band interrupted by two large, white marginal spots. Fringe white. Male with basal and median area very light grey, contrasting strongly with the black below and with the black postmedian line, which has a large "tooth" pointing basad. A dark apical streak as in the female, but the reniform more strongly marked by several short, dark wavy streaks. Hindwing as in female, but the dark band slightly less extensive. Antennae in both sexes filiform. Similar species include Drasteria pallescens (forewing with wide band and brown colors) and Bullia deducta (hindwing with a single white marginal spot, containing a large black spot and yellow lunule). Melipotis belongs to the family Noctuidae, subfamily Catocalinae.
Poorly known. There is a single brood each year, with adults flying in late spring. Adults are nocturnal and come to light.
A rare and local species in Alberta, at the northern extremity of its range.
No Alberta data; elsewhere willow (Salix), catclaw (Acacia) and oak (Quercus) (Prentice, 1962; Ferguson, 1975; Crumb, 1956.)
Southern USA, north to New Jersey, the southern Prairie Provinces and Vancouver Island. In Alberta, it has been collected north to the South Saskatchewan River valley south of Empress.
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