Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Scythris trivinctella (Zeller, 1873)
Butalis trivinctella Zeller, 1873
* phylogenetic sequence #421713
Adult - forewing dark brownish-gray with broad white diagonal AM line and oblique PM line that divides into a Y shape at inner margin; AM line may merge with pale basal line; hindwing slender, lancelike, uniformly dark with very broad fringe of hairlike scales.
According to Landry 1991, if a scythridid has the basal white marking on the forewing, followed by the curved white marking, followed by the white transverse bar (the latter with or without the little brown nick at the posterior margin), then it can be reliably diagnosed as S. trivinctella (which occurs across most of the USA and southern Canada), unless it occurs in California or Nevada, where the similar S. ypsilon (CA only) and a couple of similar/related, undescribed "species to be named later" occur. Furthermore, S. trivinctella can be quite variable in appearance. As one extreme end of its possible variation, Landry 1991 illustrates an individual (determined by dissection, I assume) that was collected in Illinois, that has no white markings on the forewing at all. Therefore, the moths in Mike's two photos, even though they are a bit different in appearance, certainly fall comfortably enough within the range of variation of S. trivinctella to be diagnosed as that species (Terry Harrison, 25 December, 2008)
- New England to Florida, the Great Plains states, Texas to Arizona and south into Mexico, Utah, eastern Oregon and southern British Columbia. (1)
Diurnal, often seen at flowers, but will come to lights. (1)
This species is parasitized by the tachinid fly Nemorilla pyste.
Other common Scythris species lack pale bands on forewing.
Moth Photographers Group
- photos of related species
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press. p.79, Pl.6.43m (1)
presence in Kansas; list
(F.F. Crevecoeur, Kansas Academy of Science, courtesy jstor.org)