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Species Page - Oncocnemis piffardi
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scientific name    Oncocnemis piffardi    

common name     Black-banded Beauty

Dry shrubby areas with Spiraea.

Adults have been collected in Alberta in August.

A medium-size (3.2 - 3.5 cm wingspan) grey and black moth. The forewings are grey with a very wide black median band, concave on the inner edge and straight on the outer. The subterminal line has black scales along the inner side, shading into grey before meeting the median band, and the veins distad to the subterminal line are lined with black. The hindwings are bright white on the basal half, black on the outer. Sexes similar, but the female has a narrower black band on the hindwings. The only moth it could be confused with is the closely related O. chalybdis which replaces it in the mountains. The black collar is edged with white scales in chalybdis (all black in piffardi), and the black median area of the forewing is charcoal and medium gray with a visible median band and claviform spot in chalybdis. Piffardi also lacks the black terminal line of chalybdis, and has a solid dark grey fringe (checkered in chalybdis). There are also minor differences in male genitalic characters, most notably the clasper, which is slightly swollen near the base in piffardi and evenly tapered in chalybdis. Apparently the ranges do not overlap and most specimens can be separated by locality.

life history
Poorly known. There is a single brood each year, with adults flying in late summer. Adults come to light.

Local and uncommon; no obvious concerns.

diet info
Spiraea, including S. latifoloia (Handfield, 1999).

Across southern Canada, from NS west to Alberta; south to ME and NY.

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References (1)
Specimen Info
There are 16 specimens of this species in the online database
Map Distribution
Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (16)
Related Links
Moth Photographers Group


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