|scientific name Agrotis vetusta |
common name Old Man Dart; Muted Dart (ssp. mutata); Spotted-legged Cutworm
It frequents more xeric habitats, in particular sandy areas. Open areas, especially areas with light or sandy soils.
August - September; rarely as early as June (?).
A medium-size (3.5 - 4.2 cm. ws) light powdery grey or grey-brown moth. The FW markings include a dark orbicular and reniform (often only the lower half), and a series of black dots marking the PM and terminal lines. HW and abdomen white. Antennae simple. Sexes similar. Easily mistaken for the smaller Euxoa catenula, and possibly other Euxoa sp. such as tronella and comosa, all of which have a very different type of male genitalia.
Many low plants, including apple, grapes beans, corn, cotton, lettuce, peach, tobacco, tomato, turnip and watermelon. A climbing cutworm.
NS west across southern Canada to south-central BC; north to YT and south to GA and CA. It occurs throughout Alberta, from the arid grasslands north throughout the boreal forest.
A fairly common moth in the more arid parts of the region; further north it occurs locally in areas of light and sandy soils. The specimen illustrated above is better marked than most individuals seen. Forbes states populations occurring west from MB into BC are ssp. mutata, a paler plain form, while sand-colored populations from the Great Basin area are ssp. catenuloides. Bowman treated most AB material as ssp. catenuloides, while Jones treated most BC material as ssp. mutata; both ssp. are listed for both provinces. Bowman stated adults occur as early as June, but I have seen no specimens dated earlier than August.
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