Variable Reddish Pyrausta
Head: Reddish-orange, white on underside. White line extending up inner eye margin. Nose cone (palpi) slightly longer than head, brownish on top side, white on underside.
Antenna: Light brown, reaching past mid-wing. Scape white.
Wings: Wings have a slight sheen; coloured with mixed sections of light and dark reddish-orange. Base of wings light orange, bordered by a black wavy AM line, not reaching outside edge (costa). Middle of wing has a wide band of dark reddish-orange with two smudged black areas near outside edge. Bordered, for the most part, by a black wavy PM line which curves deeply into another section of light reddish-orange. Wing tips dark reddish-orange. Fringe two-tone, black at base and becoming pale yellowish. Hind wings similar, including fringe.
Legs: Thin, mostly white. Thighs (femora) have a dark stripe. Front leg segments sometimes darker at tips. Spurs long, white.
Abdomen: Orange-red, becoming darker toward tip. Lower margin of each segment white.
Similar Species: The Mint Root Borer Fumibotys fumalis is larger and has a more shiny, uniform yellowish-brown colour with one dark patch. The lower line (postmedial) has a right-angle or step up to reach inner wing margin. Wing tips are not darker. Fringe is slightly checkered, but not two-tone. Abdomen curves upward, usually protruding between wings.
Also somewhat similar to reddish forms of the Garden Webworm Moth Achyra rantalis which is much larger and lacks the dark, complete 1st (antemedial) line. Wing tips are not darker.
Size: Male 6 to 7 mm long. Female to 10 mm.
Flight Time: July and August
Life Cycle: Unknown
Comments: The Annotated Checklist of the Moths and Butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Canada and Alaska, 2018 by Pohl et al. maintains Pyrausta rubricalis is not present in Canada. A record by Perrin in Nova Scotia (1915) was assumed to be an error.
Norfolk County photo by Dave Beadle Aug 12, 2008.
Essex County – Wheatley photo July 26, 2012
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page