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Species Microcrambus elegans - Elegant Grass-veneer - Hodges#5420

Elegant Grass-veneer Moth - Microcrambus elegans Crambidae: Microcrambus elegans - Microcrambus elegans Elegant Grass-veneer - Hodges#5420 - Microcrambus elegans Microcrambus elegans Elegant Grass-veneer  - Microcrambus elegans Elegant Grass-veneer - Microcrambus elegans Microcrambus elegans Moth - Microcrambus elegans
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Crambinae (Crambine Snout Moths)
Tribe Crambini (Grass-Veneers)
Genus Microcrambus
Species elegans (Elegant Grass-veneer - Hodges#5420)
Hodges Number
5420
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
described in 1860 by Clemens, who originally placed it in genus Crambus
Numbers
the most common and widespread species in this genus
Size
wingspan 12-15 mm
Identification
Adult: forewing silvery-white, variably shaded with brown, heaviest in upper PM area; when viewed from above, the moth at rest appears to have a Halloween mask on its forewings, with two triangular upward-pointing "eyes" and a frowning or scowling down-curved "mouth" (this distinctive feature can be seen at a distance with the naked eye)

subterminal line sharp, even, parallel to outer margin; terminal line composed of 7 blackish dots; hindwing brownish-gray with wide fringe

Microcrambus croesus of Texas has a similar pattern but is much whiter, lacking much of the diffuse brown speckling on the FWs. The subterminal line tends to be a pair of obscure thin brown lines; the dark brown terminal line is usually continuous rather than appearing as a series of dots.
Range
Ontario, Quebec, and Maine to Florida, west to Texas, north to Kansas and Illinois
Habitat
fields, grassy areas; adults are crepuscular/nocturnal and come to light
Season
adults fly from June to August in the north; March to October in the south
Food
larvae feed on grasses (family Poaceae)
Life Cycle
one generation per year in the north; up to several in the south

Life cycle images:
Mated pair; Eggs
Internet References
live and pinned adult images by various photographers, plus common name reference (Moth Photographers Group)