|scientific name Oncocnemis viriditincta |
In Alberta it has been collected in dry native prairie on well-drained soils in the parklands region west to the foothills.
A medium-size moth (approx 3 cm wingspan) dark olive grey-green, almost black. The forewings have a series of small white marking along the costa and also forming an indistinct subterminal line. The most prominent markings include the white outlined claviform and reniform spots, and in particular the round pure white orbicular spot. The hindwings are lighter olive-brown with a dark discal mark, narrow dark median line, and broad dark terminal band followed by a white fringe.
Adults are nocturnal and come to light, and have also been collected at bait (“treacle”) according to the label data on the Wolley-Dod specimen from the Calgary area. There is a single annual brood, with Alberta adults in late August. The larvae are apparently undescribed and the larval hostplant(s) unknown. The 3 recent Alberta specimens were all collected by C. D. Bird, on August 22 and 30, 2001.
Unlike most Oncocnemis, viriditincta has a northern prairie distribution, occurring in Canada from Ontario west to southern central Alberta, south in the USA to at least Illinois and Nebraska.
This is a distinctive and easily recognized moth. There are few mentions of it in the literature and it appears to be nowhere common. The three recent Alberta specimens were all collected in 2001 at and just north of the Buffalo Lake Conservation area, north of Stettler. Bowman also lists if from the Lloydminster area (Zone 7 – open circle on map), but we have been unable to locate the specimen(s).
Smith gives the Type Locality as McLean, BC; however, Wolley-Dod (1908) points out that the correct Type Locality is “Assiniboine” (now Saskatchewan).
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