|scientific name Protitame virginalis |
common name The Virgin
Mesic deciduous and mixedwood forests.
The peak adult flight occurs throughout June.
One of a number of similar looking, faintly marked white geometroid moths. The wings are cream-white and unmarked except for a fine specking of brown scales, particularly along the costa. No trace of discal spots or transverse lines. Very similar to Cabera variolaria, but in virginalis the male anntenal pectinations are much shorter, the frons (face) is cream not yellow and white, and the forelegs are grey not tan. Eudeilinea herminiata (Drepanidae) is similar but lacks any trace of the tan-scaled speckling.
Subspecies hulstiaria Taylor has reduced speckling and a visible PM line; once treated as specifically distinct from virginalis, McGuffin (1972) considered it a clinal form of virginalis. Whether form hulstaria occurs in the southwest Alberta mountains remains to be documented; Prentice (1963) shows it occuring in BC east to the AB border.
McGuffin (1972) details the immature stages. Adults come to light and are often common.
Not of concern.
Larvae prefer trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), but also feed on other poplars and willows (Salix spp.) (Prentice 1963).
Nova Scotia to BC and southern NWT, south to Colorado (McGuffin 1972).
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