|scientific name Schinia cumatilis (Grt.)|
common name Silver-banded Gem
Dry native grassland; native pasture.
In Alberta adults fly from mid July through mid August.
A small (2.4-2.7 cm. wingspan) shining white moth with olive and grey markings. The forewing has a thick, bent antemedial line, a wide subterminal line which bends outward to the anal angle, and a wide terminal band which breaks down into a series of large spots near the bottom. The reniform is an indistinct dark patch showing through from the underside. The hindwing has a large dark discal mark and a narrow terminal band. The fringes are white except for a short space near the forewing apex, which when viewed against a light background gives the illusion that the wing is acutely pointed. The sexes are similar.
The Silver-banded Gem is nocturnal and comes to light. The life history is apparently poorly known, and the immature stages remain undescribed.
A fairly common, widespread species; no concerns.
"A few years ago, in Alberta, I observed a female of cumatilis ovipositing in the blossoms of the Prairie Wool, Artemesia frigida Willdenow." (Hardwick, 1996). All members of the genus Schinia feed on the flowering parts and developing seeds of their respective hosts. They tend to be very host specific, feeding on a single species or a very few closely related genera.
Southern Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC, south to Arizona and New Mexico. Silver-banded Gems are widespread in southern Alberta, north to Edmonton and Nordegg, and have recently been discovered in the Peace River district.
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