|scientific name Schinia villosa |
common name Little Dark Gem
Native prairie and montane grasslands.
Adults are on the wing in late July and August.
A small (2.0 cm wingspan) dark red-brown day-flying moth with indistinct lighter mottled pattern on the forewing. Hindwing similar, but darker and with three indistinct pale spots in the basal half. The darkest of the Alberta Flower Moths except for M. immortua, which flies in spring.
Adults are diurnal. The larvae feed mainly on the developing seeds of the host, and are also reported to be extremely cannibalistic.
No immediate concerns.
No Alberta data. Elsewhere, the primary host is reported to be species of Fleabanes (Erigeron sp.). Eucephalus ledophyllus is also listed as a host plant (Crumb, 1956)
Primarily a western mountain species, however it has also been found across the plains eastward across Alberta and Saskatchewan to southern Manitoba. West to the coast ranges of Washington and BC, south to Arizona. In Alberta, it has been collected in the foothills west of Calgary and in the Drumheller and Edmonton regions.
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