Semioscopis inornata

Inornate Flatbody Moth
Semioscopis inornata

POHL: 42-0128
MONA: 0914
GenBank: 687133

Identification:
Head: Brownish-gray, mixed with varying amounts of white. Nose cone (palpi) long, reaching to back of head; whitish with brown streaks and stripes.
Antenna: Reaching to mid-wing. Base (scape) short, dark. Segments grayish-yellow, the first 1/3 of segments striped (annulated) with white.
Thorax: Brownish-gray, mixed with varying amounts of white. Dark tuft at mid-thorax.
Wings: Yellowish-brown to grayish-white, heavily to lightly speckled with dark brown. None of the speckles are well-defined. Speckles darker along outer (costal) edge and around wing tip; two streaks of darker speckles across wing and the 1/3 and 2/3 area. Also at 2/3 of wing a white spot above dark speckles, sometimes very faded. Fringe whitish, with a darker line through the fringe just before tips. Hindwing grayish-white, fringe pale.
Legs: Grayish-white, streaked and spotted with brown. Feet striped brown and white.
Abdomen: Gray, tinged with brownish-yellow. Male tip has yellowish tuft. Underside whitish-yellow with faint grayish line at each side.

Similar Species: Most of the individuals in Ontario are consistently dark. Some very light individuals can be confused with Semioscopis megamicrella which flies at the same time, but has well-defined dark markings on lower wing area.

Size: 10 to 15 mm long. Wingspan 25 to 33 mm.

Habitat: Wet forests, lowlands, streambanks.

Food: Poplar Populus and Willow Salix.

Flight Time: Mar to May

Life Cycle: One of the first moths to appear in the spring. Females lay eggs on budding leaves and twigs of Poplar and Willow. Larvae are leafrollers and probably spend the winter in cocoon stage on the ground (per Hodges 1974). Caterpillar (20 mm.) is light green, thick and flat with a wide, pale head. No black marks.

Comments: Ontario per Pohl (2018). Essex County.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page