elegant grass-veneer

(Microcrambus elegans)

               
Hodges #

5420

elegant grass-veneer

 

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common in Minnesota

   
Flight/Season

One generation per year. June to August

Photo by Alfredo Colon
Habitat

Fields and grassy areas

 
Size

Total Length: 516 to (8 to 10 mm)

Wingspan: ½ to (12 to 15 mm)

 
 
Identification

Elegant grass-veneer is small crambid snout moth. It occurs in the United States and southern Canada east of the Great Plains, and in Mexico. It is the most common Microcrambus moth in the United States, and is common in Minnesota. Adults are found from June to August in fields and grassy areas. Larvae feed on grasses.

Adults are narrow-bodied. They are 516 to (8 to 10 mm) in length and have a wingspan of ½ to (12 to 15 mm).

The forewings are white or silvery white with brown and dark brown markings. They are moderately to densely peppered and shaded with brown and dark brown specks. On each wing, there is a conspicuous, dark brown, triangular patch near the wing base, and a broad, curved line in the middle. Dense, dark brown specks in the postmedial area provide a dark shading below the curved line. When the wings are closed these marks form a frowning face that has been compared to a Halloween mask. There is a brown band in the postmedial area and a thin, straight, brown line in the subterminal area (subterminal or ST line). The band is separated from the ST line by a thin white border. There are seven short, blackish-brown dashes, one on each vein, between the ST line and the fringe. The fringe is brown. The hindwing is brownish-gray and has a wide fringe.

The antennae are slender and thread-like. There are two large compound eyes on the side of the head and a single, well-developed, simple eye (ocellus) near the top edge of each compound eye. The finger-like sensory organs (palps) attached to the mouth are moderately long and densely hairy. They are projected forward, appearing like a fuzzy snout.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

Grasses

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

Adults rest with their wings held tight to the body, forming a tubular shape. They are active at night (diurnal) and at dawn and dusk (crepuscular), and will come to light.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 29, 30, 72, 75, 82, 83.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Pyraloidea (pyralid and crambid snout moths)

 

Family:

Crambidae (crambid snout moths)

 

Subfamily:

Crambinae (crambine snout moths)

 

Tribe:

Crambini (grass-veneers)

 

Genus:

Microcrambus

 
Synonyms

Crambus terminellus

Microcrambus terminellus

 
Common
Names

elegant grass-veneer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Palp

Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and insects, and as weapons in scorpions. Plural: palpi.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  elegant grass-veneer    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Microcrambus
Bill Keim
 
  Microcrambus  
 
About

Family: Crambidae
Subfamily: Crambinae
Tribe: Crambini
Genus: Microcrambus

- Microcrambus bigutellus (Gold-stripe Grass-veneer)
- Microcrambus elegans (Elegant Grass-veneer)

 
     

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Elegant Grass-veneer Moth (Crambidae: Microcrambus elegans) Lateral View
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Jul 29, 2011

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (29 July 2011). Thank you to Jay Greenberg (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity of this specimen!

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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Alfredo Colon
8/13/2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

elegant grass-veneer


 
         
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Created: 12/14/2020

Last Updated:

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