dark-banded owlet

(Phalaenophana pyramusalis)

               
Hodges #

8338

dark-banded owlet

 

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common in Minnesota

Flight/Season

Two generations per year: April through August

          Photo by Alfredo Colon
Habitat

Woodlands, fields, and gardens

Size

Total Length: ½ to 916 (12 to 14 mm)

Wingspan: ¾ to 1 (20 to 25 mm)

 
 
Identification

Dark-banded owlet is a medium-sized litter moth. It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains, and in southern Canada from Nova Scotia to Alberta. It is common in Minnesota. Adults are found in from April through August in woodlands, fields, and gardens. Larvae feed on wilted leaves that are blackened with decay.

Adults are roughly triangular in shape (deltoid), are ½ to 916 (12 to 14 mm) in length, and have a ¾ to 1 (20 to 25 mm) wingspan.

The forewings are concave on the upper half of the outer margin, making the wingtip (apex) appear pointed. They are pale tan or grayish-brown and are crossed with lines and bands. From the wing base to the tip there is an antemedial (AM) band, two median lines, a postmedial (PM) band, a subterminal (ST) line, and a terminal line. The AM band is dark, straight, and broad. It is sharply bordered in front and fades in the rear. The median lines are dark, jagged, and widely separated. The front line is broad with ill-defined edges. The rear line is thin and well-defined. The PM band is broad, dark, and slightly wavy. The ST line is pale and jagged. It is defined by the PM band above and a diffuse dark area below. The terminal line is represented by a series of connected, dark, shallow, forward-pointing chevrons, one centered on each vein. There is a round spot (orbicular spot) between the AM band and upper median line, and a kidney-shaped spot (reniform spot) between the two median lines. Both spots are close to the leading (costal) margin. The orbicular spot is usually reduced to just a single, small, dark dot. The reniform spot is two small, distinctly separated dots. There is an oblique, poorly-defined, dark line extending from the apex toward the ST line.

The hindwing is paler with a thin dark terminal line.

The head and thorax are the same color as the forewings. The antennae on both sexes are slender and thread-like. On the male they are moderately covered with long bristles.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

Dead leaves blackened with decay

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

Adults rest with their wings held flat. They are active at night and will come to light.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 29, 30, 71, 72, 75, 82.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Noctuoidea (noctuid moths)

 

Family:

Erebidae

 

Subfamily:

Herminiinae (litter moths)

 

Genus:

Phalaenophana

   
 

In 2011 the family Arctiidae (tiger moths and lichen moths) was transferred to the family Erebidae mostly intact but demoted to a subfamily. The former subfamilies are now tribes, the former tribes now subtribes.

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

dark-banded owlet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.

 

Orbicular spot

A circular spot or outline in the outer median area on the forewing of many moths.

 

Reniform spot

A kidney-shaped spot or outline in the outer median area on the forewing of many moths.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  dark-banded owlet   dark-banded owlet
       
  dark-banded owlet    
       
       
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  Phalaenophana
Bill Keim
 
  Phalaenophana  
 
About

Family: Erebidae
Subfamily: Herminiinae
Genus: Phalaenophana

- Phalaenostola eumelusalis (Dark Phalaenostola Moth)
- Phalaenophana pyramusalis Dark-banded Owlet)

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Alfredo Colon
8/8/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

dark-banded owlet


Alfredo Colon
8/7/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

dark-banded owlet


Alfredo Colon
8/6/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

dark-banded owlet


 
         
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Created: 12/16/2020

Last Updated:

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