Dingy Cutworm Moth (Felita jaculifera)
The dingy cutworm moth is a member of the family of owlet moths. The drab, gloomy appearance of their larva has perhaps resulted in their name. However, the adults are a complete contrast to the caterpillars, having a brighter look. They are native to the whole of North America.
Description and Identification
The larvae have a light gray dorsal and pale yellow ventral region, with four black dots on the upper part of each abdominal segment.
After maturing and going through several molts, the larva gets ready to enter the pupal stage.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.
Color and Appearance
Forewings: When the wings are opened, they are dark gray to black, marked with longitudinal spots and streaks of different shades from gray and tan to white. When the wings are closed, the color and pattern remain unchanged, with the steaks and spots visible.
Hindwings: When opened, the wings have a dirty white appearance with a light or dark shading towards the margins. When closed, the wings are barely seen.
Average wingspan: 3-4 cm
Flight pattern: Erratic
Season: Late summer to fall
Females lay their eggs in the heads of the flowers, especially aster and daisy.
|Habitat||Open habitats, like native grasslands, riparian edges, and meadows|
|Lifespan of Adults||Not recorded|
|Host Plants||Alfalfa, aster, blueberry, chickweed, clover, corn, dock, flax, goldenrod, grasses, mullein, oats, raspberry, rye, tobacco, and wheat.|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|
Did You Know
- Three other species are very similar to this one in appearance – the Master’s dart moth, the gothic dart moth, and the tricose dart moth, all of which have a streaked pattern.