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10177 Calophasia lunula 19 10177 Calophasia lunula 1810177 Calophasia lunula 17b



Calophasia lunula

Ottawa (Dunrobin), ON Canada

23 May 2003   10:24PM EST  (top)
23 May 2003   8:34PM EST  (bottom left)
18 May 2003   7:46PM EST  (bottom right)

Calophasia lunula is not native to North America, but was introduced to Ontario in the 1960's as a biological control for yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) (Handfield, 1999).

Calophasia lunula has an overall streaky appearance, in shades of brown, black and pale gray.  Its most eye-catching markings are the sharply defined white reniform spot, and the brown and white streaked fringe.  The orbicular spot is white-filled, often teardrop-shaped and outlined in black. The antemedial and postmedial lines are most evident at the inner margin, where their pale gray to beige filling contrasts with the darker median area.  A fairly sharp basal dash, a fine black line outlined in white, extends through the end of the innermost scallop of the am line into the median area.  The hindwing is gray-brown, shaded darker toward the outer margin.

The resting position of Calophasia lunula is usually in the form of a tent; I often find it nestled around the angle of a brick where the brick meets the mortar of our house wall.

As mentioned above, the larvae of Calophasia lunula feed on toadflax, listed as a noxious weed in many North American jurisdictions.  In my general area, there are two generations of C. lunula each year, the first from early May into June, and the second from mid-July to late August  

I have photographed this species in 2000 on 23 July; in 2001 on 16 July; in 2002 on 7 May, on 1, 11 and 19 June, on 27 July, and on 11, 16 and 31 August; in 2003 on 17, 18, 23 and 29 May, and on 2 and 3 June.

Page last modified 4 June 2003
Copyright © 2001-2012 D. Lynn Scott