|scientific name Neoligia tonsa |
dry open woodland and steppe
Relatively small (approx. 2.5 cm wingspan) with light bodies, resembling geometridae. Dull mottled greyish-brown moths, somewhat variable in pattern. The basal half of the forewing is usually darker than the remainder, or has darker areas. The orbicular and reniform are usually large and pale, and contrast with the ground. In particular in lower part of the reniform is usually splayed towards the outer margin. The hindwings are lighter sooty brown, darker in females. Antennae in both sexes simple. Only one other species of Neologia, the much more common and widespread N. subjuncta, is known from Alberta. It tends to have the darkest area in the median part of the wing more or less in the shape of a bar near the lower margin. Best separated by range or by genitalia. A small (approx. 2.5 cm wingspan) geometrid-like noctuid moth with grey-brown forewings and dirty white to light grey hindwings. Specimens of tonsa may be highly variable in appearance; the three that are illustrated here are all from the same locality, Lillooet BC. In general the basal half of the forewing is dark and the outer half lighter, while the orbicular and large reniform spots stand out. Specimens of Neoligia from the mountains and foothills of Alberta require having the genitalia examined for positive identification. Females will require dissection, but males can often be identified by brushing and examining the tips of the valves.
Very poorly known. Adults are nocturnal and come to light. There appears to be a single brood. The Alberta specimens were collected 10 and 25 July. The larval host plants are unknown.
Rarely collected in Alberta; no obvious concerns.
A western species, found from southern BC and southwestern Alberta south to Colorado, northern Arizona and southern California. In Alberta it has been collected in the mountains at Hailstone Butte (6000m) and in the foothills near Calgary (head of Pine Creek). They frequent dry open woodland and steppe.
Another western moth that s easily overlooked and has rarely been collected in Alberta. It likely occurs with the two other Alberta species of Neoligia from which it cannot be reliably identified using superficial characters alone.
Troubridge and Lafontaine recently (2002) revised the entirely North American "Oligia" semicana group, and placed all 17 species in the new genus, Neoligia. Color illustrations of adults and the genitalia of both sexes of all species are available at Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility.
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