|scientific name Schinia avemensis |
common name Gold-edged Gem
Active dunes with annual sunflower colonies.
Adults fly in Alberta in late July and early August.
A very small (1.6-1.8 cm wingspan) day-flying moth. The forewings are mottled red-brown and tan. There is an irregular pale yellow median band and a prominent yellow or pale tan streak on the upper part of the terminal area. The fringe is yellow-white, lightly checkered with brown. The abdomen and hindwings, including the fringe, are coal black.
Poorly known. Like all known Schinia, the larvae undoubtedly feed on the flowering parts and/or developing seeds of the host plant, in the case of avemensis an annual sunflower. Soon after emergence, which is timed to coincide with the blooming of the host plant, pairs mate and can be found sitting in-copula on the flower heads of the host and adjacent plants. There is a single brood each year.
Presently known in Canada only from single colonies in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The larval host is reported to be a native annual sunflower, Helianthus petiolaris Nuttall (Hardwick, 1996).
Known from only three colonies in the southern prairie provinces of Canada; the Spirit Dunes at Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Manitoba, the Burstall dunes in southwestern Saskatchewan, and in a small dune complex in the Red Deer River valley north of Bindloss. It will probably also be found in other active dune complexes in the southern parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Also occurs in Colorado (Hardwick, 1996).
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