|scientific name Lygephila victoria |
It frequents dry open woodland and meadows.
A medium-size (approx. 4-5 cm wingspan) lavender-pink or pink-grey moth with slightly falcate forewings. The thoracic collar is jet black. The forewings have few markings, confined to some darker brown shading near the costa where the antemedian, median and postmedian lines would meet it. The reniform spot may or may not have black markings. The hindwings are light yellow-brown, shading darker along the outer margin. Antennae simple. Sexes similar.
Poorly known. L. victoria is single-brooded., and the adults come to light. The Alberta specimen was collected in early July. The larval host plant is apparently unknown, but many of the Eurasian species feed on Legumes, and victoria has been reared in captivity on lupine (Lupinus).
Reared in captivity on lupine (Lupinus).
Widespread in western USA, south to Arizona and California, north to southern BC and east to extreme southwestern Alberta. A single specimen collected in Waterton Lakes National Park in 2005 is the only Alberta record.
Lygephila is a large Eurasian genus of about 30 look-alike species. Only L. victoria occurs in North America, although Tathorhynchus (with species exsiccatus Led.) is included as a subgenus of Lygephila by some authors. Lygephila has appeared in the North American literature in the genera Toxocampa (in Holland, 1903) and Asticta (many authors, until recently). Holland erroneously stated that victoria was a northern species, occurring from New England west to BC. Although barely entering Alberta, victoria is fairly common in BC, where I first encountered it at the lights of the local convenience store when I lived on Gabriola Island. It was some time before I was able to identify it, and in the mean time I referred to it as the “black-necked moth”, for obvious reasons. I was pleased to find that this is also the common name applied to the genus in Europe. Chris Schmidt added Lygephila to the Alberta list during the 2005 “bio-blitz” at Waterton Lakes National Park.
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