|scientific name Papestra quadrata |
Papestra quadrata is found throughout Alberta wherever trees occur, thus is rare and local in the Grasslands region.
A medium-sized moth (wingspan approx. 3.5 cm with dark grey-black forewings with a wide contrasting pale grey or dirty white subterminal band, palest near the lower margin and with well-developed W-mark inwardly marked with 2-3 small black wedges. Basal area, reniform, orbicular and claviform spots large and paler grey than ground. Hindwings grey-brown, darker along the veins and on outer half. Antennae simple. Sexes similar. Male genitalia separated from other Papestra by the clavus noticeably protruding on at least one of the valves; female by the rectangular 7th sternite with little or no notch. Other Papestra are black, grey and white and lack the brown shades of quadrata.
Poorly known. Adults are nocturnal and come to light. There is a single annual brood, with adults in spring – early May through mid June, occasional at higher elevations into mid July.
Larvae are solitary feeders on a wide range of trees and shrubs with willows, Buffaloberry (Shepherdia sp.), alder, Trembling aspen, Alpine larch, Lodgepole pine, Jack pine, Douglas fir, gooseberry, and Englemann spruce all reported (Prentice, 1963).
Most common in the west, but has a transcontinental distribution from NS west to coastal BC; north to southern YT and south to CA. Subspecies (?) ingravis was described from Calgary.
Adults of quadrata can be quite variable, but most specimens are dark grey and bluish grey. Ingravis, a lighter form with yellow-brown shades, was described from Calgary; we have seen specimens only from the immediate Calgary area.
Papestra quadrata was treated in detail by McCabe in his recent revision of the Polia complex (McCabe 1980). Both adults and male and female genitalia are illustrated therein.
Open dots on the map are collection localities reported by Prentice (1963), which have not been verified.
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