|scientific name Xestia perquiritata |
Found in coniferous woodland
In Alberta, with adults from late June through early August
A medium-sized (3.8 - 4.5 cm. wingspan) grey, black and white moth. Forewings light to dark gray, usually with white scaling in the clavicorn spot and with filled-filled white orbicular and boomerang-shaped reniform spots. The subterminal line is a wave-shaped chain of small white spots. Hind wings paler grey, with a dark discal spot, wavy median line, darker shading toward the margin and a broken dark marginal line. Very similar to X. speciosa, but in perquiritata the orbicular spot is small and round and the reniform spot is a diagnostic boomerang–shaped lunule; both are white filled with less of the dark inner shading found in speciosa. Sexes similar and antennae simple. Male genitalia of speciosa have valves with a broadly rounded tip, while the valve of perquiritata ends in a narrow tapered point, with two large "teeth" along the lower margin.
Adults are nocturnal and come to light. There is a single brood in Alberta, with adults from late June through early August. The larvae is described and illustrated in color by Duncan (2006). Larvae feed on a variety of conifers, in particular spruce, firs and tamarack (Prentice 1962; Duncan 2006).
Larvae feed on a variety of conifers, in particular spruce, firs and tamarack
NFLD west to AK, YT and central BC; south to NC in the east and OR and CO in the west. The nominate subspecies is boreal, and is replaced in the mountains from southern AB south and west by the larger darker subspecies partita (McD.) In Alberta the nominate subspecies occurs throughout the boreal forest region, and is replaced by ssp. partita in the mountains. Found in coniferous woodland
A single fresh specimen collected in the main campground at Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park in the dry grasslands of southern Alberta is an unusual record. There is a plantation of spruce in the campground, and the species may have arrived with them, or via the wind from the mountains far to the west. Either way, it appears perquiritata is now a resident of the park.
Occasional specimens from the mountains (e.g. Kakwa Wildland P. P.) are melanic and appear almost unmarked.
The specimen illustrated above is from Wagner Fen, near Edmonton.
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