|scientific name Leucobrephos brephoides |
common name Scarce Infant
Open mixedwood forests of the boreal and mountain region.
Adults in Alberta from March into May, peaking in mid to late April.
This moth is quite distinctive, although the overall colour and pattern are suggestive of several (much smaller) day-flying, alpine noctuids such as Anarta (brephoides was originally described in this genus!). No similar species are on the wing as early as brephoides. The forewing is black and dusted with grey and a white-bordered black PM line, the AM black line lacks a white border. Hindwing white with and even black margin and basal black scaling. Sexes are similar but can be separated by the pectinate (feathery) antennae of the males; females have filiform (thread-like) antennae.
The early stages are described in McGuffin (1988). Habits of the adults are similar to those of Archiearis infans, and the flight period often begins when snow patches are still on the ground. Although the larval hosts are common and widespread, this species is usually rare, and not often encountered because of its early spring flight.
No obvious concerns.
Larvae feed primarily on trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), white birch (Betula papyrifera) and alder (Alnus spp.), and have also been found on willow (Salix spp.) and Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera). These species all produce catkins early in the spring, which may be important food sources prior to leave flush.
Yukon to Labrador south to New York and southern Alberta / BC (Prentice 1963).
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