|scientific name Plemyria georgii |
common name George's Carpet Moth
It frequents cool shaded woodland, mixedwood forest and wooded riparian edges.
A medium-size (2.7–3.0 cm. wingspan) flimsy broad-winged moth. Forewings mottled light grey to black. There are dark patches adjacent to the costa, at the upper part of the basal band, in the apical area, and most prominent a large dark donut-shaped loop midway along the upper half of the wing, usually open at the costa. The normal lines are thin and incomplete, the postmedian line a series of horizontal loops. There is also a rather faint white looping subterminal line. The area in and around the dark median “donut” is partially filled and bordered with rust scales. Hindwings dirty white shading to light grey on the outer half, with small dark discal spots, a partial thin grey median line and a darker grey subterminal band, all rather diffuse. A thin broken black terminal line borders both wings. Sexes similar. There is considerable variability in how dark or light overall individual specimens are. The large dark open “loop” on the forewing is characteristic and should identify this species.
Adults are nocturnal and come to light, but may also be active on occasion during the day. There appears to be a single annual brood in Alberta, with adults from mid-August through late September, peaking in mid-late August. A single record from mid June may indicate a small early brood.
The larvae feed on a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, with alder, willow and birch favored; also apple, Red osier dogwood and Douglas maple (1-3 records each) (Prentice, 1963).
Newfoundland to Vancouver Island and Alaska, south in the east to the northern states and in the west south in the mountains to at least New Mexico and California. In Canada apparently much more common in the west (Alberta and BC) than elsewhere (Prentice, 1963). In Alberta it occurs throughout the Boreal forest south into the northern fringe of the Aspen parklands, and throughout the mountains and foothills.
The genus Plemyria contains about 20 species, but only georgii occurs in North America. The illustrated specimen is from Ministik Lake. Open circles on the map are literature records that have not been verified (mainly Prentice, op. cit.).
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