|scientific name Schinia roseitincta |
Arid grasslands and badlands.
A small (approx. 2 cm wingspan) moth with maroon and dark olive forewings and dark scarlet hindwings with a broad black marginal band. The scarlet and black hindwings will separate roseitincta from all other Alberta Schinia.
This little moth is unusual in that it is active night and day, as are also a few other Schinia species, such as the green Schinia meadi, and some species of Drasteria and Caenurgina. Chuck Harp (pers. comm. 2006) reports that roseitincta is associated with Tetraneuris acaulis (Pursch) Greene (aka stemless four-nerve-daisy, stemless hymenoxys, or rubberweed), the probable host plant . Like other Schinia species, it undoubtedly feeds on the flowering parts and seeds of the host plant, and is thus single brooded with a flight period closely linked to the chronology of the host. The Alberta specimen was collected on the night of June 2, 2006.
Schinia roseitincta occurs from southeastern Manitoba and the Black Hills of South Dakota west to southeastern Alberta, Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. The only Alberta record is a single fresh specimen collected by Ted Pike in the Red Deer River valley north of Jenner (east of Jenner Bridge).
This gorgeous little moth is another recent addition to the list of Alberta Heliothines or Flower Moths. Most Schinia species are associated with dry grassland and montane habitats, and a number are among our rarest moths, including S. gaurae, S. honesta, S. avemensis, S. verna, and now S. roseitincta. The only Alberta specimen of S. verna, a diurnal species known from only 3 or 4 sites globally, was also collected at the Jenner Bridge site where Ted collected the specimen of roseitincta. The lower Red Deer River valley and adjacent lower South Saskatchewan River valley, one of the most beautiful, biologically rich and important areas of Alberta, continues to produce new and rare Alberta moths. The specimen illustrated above is from Oklahoma.
Mark Wallace (2010-05-10)
I definitely agree with the author''s notes as to the beauty and ecological importance of these semi-arid prairie valleys.
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