|scientific name Eulithis xylina |
common name Northwestern Phoenix Moth
Occurs in mesic deciduous and mixedwood woodlands.
One of the larger Eulithis (wingspan approx. 3.2-3.7 cm.). Forewing ground white to creamy yellow, light areas in subterminal area crossed by two scalloped pale yellow-grey or tan bands. The basal area and a broad median band dark red-brown to almost black. Outer margin of median band scalloped with smooth, clean edge. Prominent black wedge below white apical dash, and two-three small black teeth above base of dash. Hindwings light yellowish-grey, outer third crossed by a series of scalloped white lines. Male antennae narrowly bipectinate. Worn specimens in particular can be difficult to separate from Eustroma semiatrata, unless the ventral surface is examined. The forewing apical dash and the dark wedge below it are repeated on the ventral surface in xylina, whereas the ventral forewing of E. semiatrata is dark and lacks any trace of a dash or wedge. See also E. destinata, E. flavibrunneata, and E. testata.
Adults are nocturnal and come to light. There is a single annual brood in Alberta, with adults from late June through late August, peaking in late July. Reported larval hosts encompass a wide range of deciduous trees and shrubs, including Alder, Rose, Serviceberry, Cinquefoil, Snowberry, Ribes (Choi, 2001) ocean spray, red-osier dogwood, ninebark and azalea (Miller & Hammond, 2003). The larvae is described and illustrated in color by Miller & Hammond, op. cit.
Western North America; SK west to AK, Yukon & BC, south in the mountains in the western United States to MT and CA.
This is one of the larger and easier to identify Eulithis species. It has a somewhat unusual range; it is a western North American species but unlike most western moths, which do not venture much east of the mountains, xylina extends east in the boreal forest region across Alberta and into Saskatchewan.
Collections often have a number of misidentified specimens, and it is likely that some of the records plotted here are also misidentified. The open circles represent records from the literature that we have not verified (i.e. Bowman 1951; Prentice, 1963). The specimen illustrated above is from Edmonton.
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