Comprehensive Description

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General Description

A large (6.5-7.5 cm ws) moth with powdery grey forewings and deep red-orange hindwings. The forewings are grey and rather evenly patterned, with few contrasts or strong markings compared to similar species. The hindwings are deep red-orange or scarlet, with a wide outer black band. The narrower median black band extends almost to the anal margin, and usually has a short upward turn at the end that is separated from the rest of the band, or a small separate dark spot. The amount of contrast on the forewings may vary considerably, and occasional melanic specimens with much darker forewings occur. Meskei can be told from hermia and semirelicta by the red-orange rather than pink hindwings. Unijuga is larger and has wider dark bands on the hindwings, and more dark hairs in the basal area. The forewings are also more contrasting black and white, with stronger markings. Luciana and parta have paler orange-pink or salmon hindwings, not as dark or red as meskei. Some specimens of meskei ("form orion?") have much lighter, orange hindwings. Subspecies orion was described as a new species from Lethbridge. Another subspecies, concolorata, has also been reported from southern AB, but both names should probably be treated as forms rather than as subspecies.

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© University of Alberta Museums

Source: University of Alberta Museums

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