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Species Chalcoela pegasalis - Pegasus Chalcoela Moth - Hodges#4896

Moth - Chalcoela pegasalis Chalcoela pegasalis Chalcoela pegasalis Chalcoela pegasalis Chalcoela pegasalis Chalcoela pegasalis ? - Chalcoela pegasalis Moth to porch light  - Chalcoela pegasalis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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 Glaphyriinae
Genus Chalcoela
Species pegasalis (Pegasus Chalcoela Moth - Hodges#4896)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Wasp Parasitizer Moth
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Chalcoela pegasalis (Walker, 1859). Taxonomic notes:
First described in 1859 by Francis Walker as Cataclysta pegasalis
Explanation of Names
"Pegasus" perhaps refers to the white mark on the forewing, resembling the raised wing of the mythical flying horse.
wingspan 14-18 mm
Adult: forewing brown in basal and terminal areas, and densely speckled with gray in median area; AM and PM lines white, thick; AM line either smoothly rounded or slightly wavy; PM line with large V-shaped lobe projecting toward outer margin; small but distinct white strip at apex; hindwing mostly speckled gray with two diffuse blackish patches in lower median area; central portion of fringe checkered with metallic blackish and pale scales, bordered proximally by a thick white strip
southern Ontario and Maryland to Florida, east to Texas, north to Illinois
also occurs in Jamaica (where the type specimen was collected), the French Antilles, and perhaps elsewhere in the West Indies
may be found around or sometimes in homes, or anywhere in the vicinity of Polistes wasp nests; adults are nocturnal and come to light
adults fly from May to September
larvae are parasitoids, feeding on the larvae of paper wasps (Polistes spp.)
Larvae of a related species, Chalcoela iphitalis, also feed on the larvae of Polistes wasps, according to Pyralid expert Alma Solis in this article.
See Also
Dicymolomia julianalis is similar but has orange on the hindwing, its forewing lines are dark and wavy, and it lacks a distinct white strip at the apex of the forewing (compare images of both species and other related species by Jim Vargo at MPG)
Meal Moth (Pyralis farinalis) has a similar pattern on the forewing but is larger and lacks the checkered metallic fringe on the hindwing
Ragweed Flower Moth (Schinia rivulosa) also has a similar pattern on the forewing but is considerably larger and lacks the checkered metallic fringe on the hindwing
Print References
Walker, F. 1859. Deltoides. List spec. Lep. Ins. British Museum 16: 438
Internet References
live and pinned adult images by various photographers, plus common name reference (Moth Photographers Group)
pinned adult image by John Glaser, plus flight season, distribution, and larval food [citing Rau, 1941, as a reference] (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult image (James Adams, Dalton State College, Georgia)
presence in Jamaica and brief description of range (Matthew Barnes, Moths of Jamaica)
presence in Ontario; list with genus name misspelled "Chalocoela" (NHIC; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)
presence in South Carolina; list (Richard B. Dominick Moth and Butterfly Collection, U. of South Carolina)
presence in Illinois; list (Illinois State Museum)
presence in Florida; list (John Heppner, Florida State Collection of Arthropods)
presence in Texas recorded by Edward Knudson in Orange County, 23 August 1997; search on species "pegasalis" (Lepidopterists Society Season Summary, U. of Florida)
North Carolina State University Entomology Collection--16 pinned, but no specimens in collection from that state