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Species Nycteola cinereana - Grey Midget - Hodges#8977

Ash Colored Nycteola Moth - Nycteola cinereana Nycteola cinereana Nolidae: Nycteola cinereana - Nycteola cinereana Nolidae: Nycteola cinereana - Nycteola cinereana Nolidae: Nycteola cinereana - Nycteola cinereana Grey Midget - Nycteola cinereana Grey Midget Moth - Nycteola cinereana Nycteola cinereana - female
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 Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Nolidae (Nolid Moths)
Subfamily Chloephorinae
Genus Nycteola
Species cinereana (Grey Midget - Hodges#8977)
Hodges Number
8977
Other Common Names
Ashen Frigid Owlet
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Nycteola cinereana Neumoegen & Dyar, 1893
Size
Forewing length 11-13 mm. (1)
Identification
Adults - "square-winged" light grey moth with shiny white hindwings. The adults come in several form, the most common with the forewings marked with a large dark triangular patch in the upper median area, and an oblique black streak along the wing base. The antemedian and postmedian lines are doubled and sinuous, and the round reniform spot has a rust-red pupil. There is also a thin black terminal line. Some specimens lack the dark patches and are quite uniform in color. The hindwings are shiny white, darkening slightly toward the margin. The antennae are simple and the sexes are similar (fromE.H. Strickland Entomological Museum) [Randy Hardy]

Larvae - dark olive green without markings and have pale spiracles with pale brown rims. The settae are pale and slender. Head is unmarked pale brownish green (1)

Pupa - cocoon is white, pointed at one end and truncate at the other (McFarland)
Range
British Columbia east to New Brunswick and south to California, Nevada, and Colorado (1)q
Habitat
Deciduous (poplar) woodland
Season
adults fly in fall and spring and may overwinter (1)
Food
Poplars, and in particular Balsam Poplar Populus balsamifera (E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum)
Life Cycle
According to Prentice (1962) the larvae feed as colonial tent makers when common, but are also frequently found as single defoliators. The late fall-early spring flight period may indicate that adults overwinter. Adults are occasionally collected in light traps, but they are apparently not strongly attracted to lights and may be much more common than trapping would indicate
Remarks
"... Nycteola cinereana is a Poplar feeder and mainly occurs in boreal habitats. It occurs across Canada and southward in the mountains to California and Colorado. Any reports outside of this known area need confirmation. I am sure it will be in suitable habitat in NY and prob. ne PA. They almost always have what I call a moustache – that is a black line or streak extending from the wing base on the thorax, outward and downward toward the hind margin of the forewing..." - Don Lafontaine (pers. comm., 1/23/2019)
See Also
The similar N. frigidana is darker grey and lacks the dark edging or basal streaks along the wing base, and often have an egg shaped white or silvery patch near the upper forewing base. There are also a number of similar appearing Tortricid moths from E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum [Randy Hardy]
Print References
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler, 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press, pl. 46, fig. 10; p. 263. (1)