|scientific name Cycnia tenera |
common name Dogbane tiger-moth
In Alberta found in dry open and sandy habitats in the Grasslands region along the lower Red Deer and South Saskatchewan River valleys.
A medium-size (3-4 cm wingspan) white moth. The costa of the forewing is broadly buff-yellow almost to the apex. The the head and front of the thorax are the same color. The body is mostly yellow-orange, with black spots on the dorsal and lateral surfaces. Male antennae narrowly bipectinate, female simple. Sexes similar. No other Alberta moths are white with a yellow costa. The Larvae are covered in soft dense grey or whitish hair.
Adults are nocturnal and come to light, but can also be found during the day on the host plants. Larval hosts include both dogbane (Apocynum) and less commonly milkweeds (Asclepias). Larvae feed at night, in small groups of 5-7 larvae in the early instars (Cohen and Brower, 1983). The pupa is covered in a cocoon of the same hair. Adults have been collected in mid June in Alberta.
Throughout the USA and north into southern Canada.
Both the chemical and sound production defenses used against predators, especially bats, have been the subject of considerable study recently.
To date there are only two records of this moth for Alberta. One of these was collected by Chris Schmidt June 16, 2005 on old vegetated sandy beach ridges, along with a number of specimens of Cycnia oregonensis (Stretch). The specimen illustrated above is from Crooked Lake, SK.
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