Comprehensive Description

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General Description

A medium-size (3.0-3.8 cm wingspan) noctuid moth. In color they range from pale buff-grey to dark red-brown, with dull grey-brown forms predominating. Forewing pattern is also highly variable, from almost non-patterned to strongly banded forms; most specimens have a prominent reniform with a dark-filled lower half. A diffuse dark band usually runs from the costa through the lower half of the reniform before angling inward to the lower margin. The subterminal line is usually visible as a narrow pale line. The hindwings are dull grey or grey brown with a dark discal mark and often have dark scaling along veins. The fringe is pale.  Very similar to some specimens of Orthosia rivicta, which appears about two weeks later than hibisci, but with much of the flight period overlapping. In general revicta is a more attractive moth, frequently with areas of clear blue-grey or red-brown over a grey or buff pattern. The subterminal line is usually more contrasting and prominent than in hibisci, usually is marked with a series of blackish spots or an orange brown-line bordering the pale yellow one. The forewings of revicta are more squared in shape, rounded in hibisci. Doubtful specimens of the two species may be identified by the genitalia, which differ greatly in the two species. Color images of the larvae are available from a number of sites on the web.


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© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

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