|scientific name Chortodes basistriga |
In Alberta it is widespread in the aspen parklands, and has been collected north into the southern edge of the boreal forest and west to the mountains at low elevations. Apparently absent from the grasslands region. It frequents mesic areas including the edges of aspen bluffs and hayfields, old fields, meadows etc.
A small (approx. 2.5-2.7 cm wingspan) dark red-brown or yellowish-brown moth. There is a black basal streak, short is some specimens but extending half way across the wing in the fold in others. The most prominent markings are the contrasting white cubital and median veins, and to a lesser degree the anal and radial veins as well. For the most part this white scaling stops well short of the wing margin. The trailing edge of the forewing is usually pale yellow or buff. The hindwings are dark sooty brown or black. Sexes similar. The combination of small size, robust build, red-brown color and contrasting white cubital vein will usually identify this moth. The illustrated specimen was collected at Gull Lake, AB.
Poorly known. The adults are nocturnal and come to light. There is a single brood, which flies in mid-late summer. The larval host(s) is apparently unknown. Related species are borers in plant stems.
Newfoundland and Labrador west to BC and Yukon.
Although this little moth has a very large distribution in Canada, I have been unable to locate any records from south of the border. This and the fact that it was described so late (1933) suggest it is probably absent in those areas that were settled and studied early on. Although rarely common, I have collected this little moth at a number of sites in central Alberta. It is surprising that a moth that occurs in the north elsewhere (i.e. Yukon and subarctic Quebec) has not been collected in most of the boreal forest in Alberta, in spite of the work that has taken place there. This may be due to its relatively late flight period combined with the low numbers that usually turn up in UV traps.
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