|scientific name Selenia kentaria |
common name Kent's Thorn
Mixedwood and deciduous forests and woodlands.
In Alberta they fly from late April to mid June, peaking in the latter half of May.
This large and fairly robust geometrid moth mimics wilted leaves with its jagged rust and brown wings. Ground colour pale-tan, with brighter rust shades at the wing margins and a pinkish white shade along the forewing costa; three dark brown transverse lines. Slightly larger and paler than the very similar S. alciphearia; kentaria has a more jagged postmedian (PM) line on both wings (best seen on the underside). The forewing PM line in kentaria has a more pronounced indentation midway, and the hindwing PM line is more irregular and slightly curved outwardly (straight or nearly so in alciphearia). The enitalia of some specimens must be examined for positive identification (see McGuffin, 1987).
The larvae are amazing twig mimics in colouration, texture and shape, to the point where white patches resemble bark lichen. Pupae hibernate (Wagner et al. 2001).
Several hardwood trees are the reported larval hosts (Prentice 1963, Wagner et al. 2001); of these, birch (Betula) is the only species native to Alberta. May feed on cherry (Prunus spp.) in the east-central part of the province.
Central Alberta east to Nova Scotia, south to GA, AL, AR, MS (Wagner et al. 2001, McGuffin 1987). McGuffin (1987) reported it as far west as Saskatchewan.
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