Species Details

Polychrysia esmeralda

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum Read more about this collection »

SeasonalityAdults are on the wing from late June through early August. IdentificationA medium-size (3.4-3.5 cm wingspan) broad-winged dirty white and metallic golden-brown moth. Forewings are a brassy golden-brown. The median area is crossed by a rather narrow, bent and somewhat diffuse darker band. Just inside the bend in this band is a large, hollow kidney-shaped silver-white stigma. The forewing apex and subterminal areas are paler, almost white. The entire wing area is crossed by a number of fine brown lines and scattered black scales. Hindwings are brown, with a faint discal dot and a narrow median line. Palpi are prominent, erect and pointed. Antennae are simple, and both the sexes are alike. There are no similar species. Until recently, esmeralda was known as P. moneta, a different Palearctic species.

Scientific Name Polychrysia esmeralda Seasonality Adults are on the wing from late June through early August. Identification
A medium-size (3.4-3.5 cm wingspan) broad-winged dirty white and metallic golden-brown moth. Forewings are a brassy golden-brown. The median area is crossed by a rather narrow, bent and somewhat diffuse darker band.…
A medium-size (3.4-3.5 cm wingspan) broad-winged dirty white and metallic golden-brown moth. Forewings are a brassy golden-brown. The median area is crossed by a rather narrow, bent and somewhat diffuse darker band. Just inside the bend in this band is a large, hollow kidney-shaped silver-white stigma. The forewing apex and subterminal areas are paler, almost white. The entire wing area is crossed by a number of fine brown lines and scattered black scales. Hindwings are brown, with a faint discal dot and a narrow median line. Palpi are prominent, erect and pointed. Antennae are simple, and both the sexes are alike. There are no similar species. Until recently, esmeralda was known as P. moneta, a different Palearctic species.
Life History
Adults appear to be largely crepuscular, but have also been collected at lights. They are rather slow flying, and can be caught by hand when they are visiting the hostplant blossoms. Adults have also been captured…
Adults appear to be largely crepuscular, but have also been collected at lights. They are rather slow flying, and can be caught by hand when they are visiting the hostplant blossoms. Adults have also been captured at dusk while nectaring at fireweed blossoms. They overwinter as either early instar larvae or eggs, as the larvae appear shortly after the new growth of the hosts occurs (late April or May). They burrow into and eat out the growing leader, causing considerable damage where these plants are used as garden flowers. The spun cocoon is a beautiful affair made out of fine, gold silk.
Conservation A rather common widespread species, and a pest on ornamental plantings. No concerns. Diet Info The larvae feed on species of monkshood (Aconitum sp.) and larkspur or delphinium (Delphinium sp.), and are pests on these plants in Edmonton. Adults will visit Fireweed blossoms for nectar. Range
Eastern Siberia and parts of Asia, east and south in North America to southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. It is widespread in the mountains and foothills of Alberta, as well as in gardens with ornamental…
Eastern Siberia and parts of Asia, east and south in North America to southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. It is widespread in the mountains and foothills of Alberta, as well as in gardens with ornamental plantings of delphinium or monkshood in urban areas across the plains.
Polychrysia esmeralda
Photo Courtesy of Charlie Bird

Citation

Page Citation for Polychrysia esmeralda

Page Citation

"Polychrysia esmeralda, University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum." University of Alberta Museums Search Site, https://search.museums.ualberta.ca/g/2-1135. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Kingdom Animalia Phylum Arthropoda Class Hexapoda Subclass Insecta Order Lepidoptera Suborder Ditrysia Superfamily Noctuoidea Family Noctuidae Subfamily Plusiinae Genus Polychrysia Species Polychrysia esmeralda
This hierarchy is created from our museum records, it may not always accurately reflect modern taxonomies.

Taxonomic Hierarchy for University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum