|scientific name Abagrotis brunneipennis (Grt.)|
It is found in sandy habitats in association with blueberry.
A medium-size (3.3-3.7 cm wingspan) moth with brick-red forewings and black hindwings. The forewings vary in color in the same population from dull brown with rather prominent dark orbicular and reniform to deep brick red with black basal and subterminal bands (illustrated). The banded form of brunneipennis is unmistakable. Most brunneipennis have a deeper more saturated almost greasy-looking appearance. The markings on most specimens are faint or obsolete, with the dark shade at the top of the subterminal shade most prominent. They are very closely related and most likely to be confused with A. cupida, most specimens of which are lighter orange-red and have lighter black hindwings. Brunneipennis is associated with sandy habitats in the cooler boreal forest and foothills regions, while cupida frequents dry often clay habitats south of the boreal forests. Although bar-code sequence fails to differentiate between cupida and brunneipennis, there are significant differences in both the male and female genitalia. Lafontaine (1998) illustrates the various forms of adults and genitalia of both sexes.
Adults are nocturnal and come to both light and sugar bait. There is a single annual brood with adults in August and early September.
Wild larvae have been collected on blueberry (Vaccinium sp.)
Abagrotis brunneipennis is found from Newfoundland west to Vancouver Island, south to west central Oregon, Utah, Colorado and North Carolina. In Alberta it has been collected sparingly throughout the boreal forest, from Redwater north almost to Lake Athabasca and in the foothills near Kananaskis.
Abagrotis brunneipennis is another Abagrotis species that was not collected in Alberta by earlier workers who did little if any collecting in the boreal forests of the province, with the exception of the FIDS surveys in the 1940s and 1950s which concentrated on species feeding on woody plants. It is a species found in association with blueberry in the boreal and foothills of sand deposits. Both brunneipennis and cupida occur where the northern fingers of open grassy habitats meet the southern edge of the boreal forest just north of Edmonton, with cupida on open grassy eroding south-facing slopes of the Sturgeon River valley and brunneipennis in pine woodlands on the dunes in the Redwater Natural area.
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