Species Details

Oncocnemis piffardi

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

Common NameBlack-banded Beauty SeasonalityAdults have been collected in Alberta in August. IdentificationA medium-size (3.2 - 3.5 cm wingspan) grey and black moth. The forewings are grey with a very wide black median band, concave on the inner edge and straight on the outer. The subterminal line has black scales along the inner side, shading into grey before meeting the median band, and the veins distad to the subterminal line are lined with black. The hindwings are bright white on the basal half, black on the outer. Sexes similar, but the female has a narrower black band on the hindwings. The only moth it could be confused with is the closely related O. chalybdis which replaces it in the mountains. The black collar is edged with white scales in chalybdis (all black in piffardi), and the black median area of the forewing is charcoal and medium gray with a visible median band and claviform spot in chalybdis. Piffardi also lacks the black terminal line of chalybdis, and has a solid dark grey fringe (checkered in chalybdis). There are also minor differences in male genitalic characters, most notably the clasper, which is slightly swollen near the base in piffardi and evenly tapered in chalybdis. Apparently the ranges do not overlap and most specimens can be separated by locality.

Scientific Name Oncocnemis piffardi Common Name Black-banded Beauty Habitat Dry shrubby areas with Spiraea. Seasonality Adults have been collected in Alberta in August. Identification
A medium-size (3.2 - 3.5 cm wingspan) grey and black moth. The forewings are grey with a very wide black median band, concave on the inner edge and straight on the outer. The subterminal line has black scales along…
A medium-size (3.2 - 3.5 cm wingspan) grey and black moth. The forewings are grey with a very wide black median band, concave on the inner edge and straight on the outer. The subterminal line has black scales along the inner side, shading into grey before meeting the median band, and the veins distad to the subterminal line are lined with black. The hindwings are bright white on the basal half, black on the outer. Sexes similar, but the female has a narrower black band on the hindwings. The only moth it could be confused with is the closely related O. chalybdis which replaces it in the mountains. The black collar is edged with white scales in chalybdis (all black in piffardi), and the black median area of the forewing is charcoal and medium gray with a visible median band and claviform spot in chalybdis. Piffardi also lacks the black terminal line of chalybdis, and has a solid dark grey fringe (checkered in chalybdis). There are also minor differences in male genitalic characters, most notably the clasper, which is slightly swollen near the base in piffardi and evenly tapered in chalybdis. Apparently the ranges do not overlap and most specimens can be separated by locality.
Life History Poorly known. There is a single brood each year, with adults flying in late summer. Adults come to light. Conservation Local and uncommon; no obvious concerns. Diet Info Spiraea, including S. latifoloia (Handfield, 1999). Range Across southern Canada, from NS west to Alberta; south to ME and NY.

Citation

Page Citation for Oncocnemis piffardi

Page Citation

"Oncocnemis piffardi, University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum." University of Alberta Museums Search Site, https://search.museums.ualberta.ca/g/2-5211. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Kingdom Animalia Phylum Arthropoda Class Hexapoda Subclass Insecta Order Lepidoptera Suborder Ditrysia Superfamily Noctuoidea Family Noctuidae Subfamily Cuculliinae Genus Oncocnemis Species Oncocnemis piffardi
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