Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
General DescriptionA small (2.5 cm wingspan) somewhat long-winged moth, with glistening sooty or brownish black forewings and white hindwings, the later darkening gradually on the outer third. Markings on the forewings confined to a small black point marking the orbicular and reniform spots, the latter partially outlined with light scales. P. mendosa is similar in appearance, but the forewings are paler silky grey-brown instead of black. Mendosa also has a paler head, which contrasts with the abdomen, and usually also has a prominent discal mark on the dorsal hindwing. Male miranda also lack the massive hair brush of long, soft hairs at the tip of the abdomen found in males of mendosa. Western populations of miranda, including those of Alberta, have been named ssp. nitens, which is described as larger and darker than nominate eastern miranda. Until recently, miranda was placed in the genus Athetis.