|scientific name Cucullia florea |
It occurs in meadows and open woodlands.
A medium-size (approximately 4.4-4.6 cm. wingspan) long-winged dark grey moth. The forewings are uniformly grey, with faint thin black streaks, in particular a narrow black edge along the lower wing margin ending in a small black crescent and streak in the anal angle. The orbicular and reniform spot are poorly marked, and the forewing fringe is lightly checkered with grey and white scales. The hindwings are dirty white, shading to grey-brown on the outer half. Most similar to C. postera, but postera has distinct rusty red scaling along the outer half of the costa and in the anal angle area. Cucullia omissa is a darker more even purple-grey. Cucullia "obscurior" is paler grey than florea, and lacks any trace of purple or rust brown scaling along the costa. Poole (1995) illustrates the adults and the genitalia of both sexes, which apparently lack characters that will reliably separate florea from postera and “obscurior”.
There is a single annual brood, with adults early June - late July, peaking in mid-July. Like other Cucullia species, the adults are nocturnal and come to light. Descriptions of the early stages (i.e. Crumb 1956) are suspect owing to difficulties in separating western members of the Cucullia florea-postera group. Specimens from Nova Scotia have been reared on Erigeron (Asteraceae) (Poole, 1995).
Most common in eastern North America, from Newfoundland and central ON south to SC. It occurs west to extreme southern BC and south to CA, UT and AZ.
Specimens of postera and florea can be difficult to separate and are frequently misidentified in collections. Poole raised the paler populations found throughout the western USA to species status as C. obscurior Sm. We follow the treatment used on the Moths of Canada website and apply the name florea to these populations as well.
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