Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Parachma ochracealis Walker, 1866
Cashatt (1984) synonymized P. borregalis
with P. ochracealis
The only species in this genus in North America.
Adult: forewing variably yellowish-brown, reddish-brown, yellowish-gray, or grayish-brown, slightly flared near base, giving "shouldered" appearance; AM and PM lines pale yellow, almost straight; terminal line dark reddish-brown; fringe pale yellow; hindwing light to medium orangish-brown, usually darker than forewing; fringe pale yellow; at rest, wings are held parallel to the substrate, not roof-like over the abdomen; legs are held at right-angles from the body, displaying heavy scale tufts on tibiae and tarsi
specimens in the southeast are usually darker, more reddish, and smaller; western specimens are usually paler, more yellowish, and larger; specimens along the gulf coast tend to be grayish-brown, but there is a continuous gradation of color and size among and between all forms>
[adapted from description by Everett Cashatt]
Southern United States, west to Arizona, north in the east to coastal plain of Maryland (see distribution map on page 6. (1)
Most records are from March to September, but nearly year round in the southern areas.
Larval food and habits unknown.
DNA barcode data indicate a species complex:
[NC, FL, OK]
[FL (Everglades, Archbold)]
The thick scale tufts on femora, tibiae, and tarsi appear to be distinctive; the similar species covered below all lack one or more of these tufts.
lacks scale tufts on tarsi, forewing not flared near base (lacks "shouldered" appearance) and darker/more reddish, and hindwing is gray.
has scale tufts on tibiae only (sometimes inconspicuous), straighter AM line, and fringe red at base with yellow at distal end in fresh specimens.
has thick scale tufts on tibiae only, less distinct AM and PM lines, PM area darker, and red fringe.
lacks scale tufts on tarsi, usually has darker median area, and has black dashes along outer margin and can have some red scales in the fringe.
Cashatt, Everett D. 1984. Revision of the genus Parachma
Walker (Pyralidae: Chrysauginae) of North America north of Mexico with description of a new genus. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. 38(4): 268-280. (1)
pinned adult image
by John Glaser, plus dates (Larry Line, Maryland)