|scientific name Cucullia similaris |
A medium-size (4.5-5.0 cm wingspan) grey moth with pointed elongate forewings. The forewings are light grey in the median area shading to darker grey along the costa, with a narrow black border along the lower margin, terminating in a small crescent followed by a black streak. The orbicular and reniform spots are essentially obsolete, reduced to a characteristic freckled streak of white and black scales. The hindwings are dirty white shading to dark grey-brown on the outer half, with the veins finely lined with dark grey scales. The absence of brown on the forewings will separate similaris from montanae, omissa and postera, and the dark streak, crescent and terminal streak along the lower margin will separate similaris from speyeri and intermedia. Cucullia similaris most resembles and is most likely to be confused with C. florea. The forewings of florea are uniform darker grey; those of similaris are paler grey in the median area and darker along the costa and lower margin. The orbicular and reniform spots are barely indicated in florea, while similaris has a characteristic and relatively prominent light and dark freckled strip through the reniform and orbicular area. Adults and the genitalia of both sexes are illustrated by Poole (1995).
Poorly known. There is apparently a single brood and adults come to light. The larva is described in detail and illustrated in color by Petit and Petit. The larvae were found and reared on grey rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseossus) (Petit and Pettit 2003).
Cucullia similaris is a western species, occurring west of the Great Plains from southwestern Alberta west to central southern BC, south to Nevada, Utah and Colorado. In Alberta it is known only from a single historic collection from "Didsbury".
Cucullia similaris is another species of Cucullia rarely encountered in Alberta. The Didsbury specimen, collected by B. Garrett July 13, 1904, is in the CNC collection and has been examined. Bowman (1951) lists similaris from his "Zone 5" which includes both the Didsbury and Drumheller areas, and likely refers to the Garrett specimen. He lists similaris as flying in both July and August, but there are no specimens in his collection and we have been unable to locate specimens or records other than the Garret specimen. This specimen also appears to be the source of the single record shown for Alberta on the distribution dot map in Poole (1995).
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