Phalaenophana pyramusalis (Walker, 1859)


Dark-banded Owlet Moth



Phalaenophana pyramusalis is a small erebid moth (FW length 10–12 mm) with banded-appearing gray tan or gray forewings with black spots in the reniform spot that only occurs in the Peace River District of British Columbia in the Pacific Northwest. The forewing apex is pointed but the distal anterior margin is squared off near the apex. The ground color of both wings is light grayish tan, slightly darker on the forewing, with a slight olive cast in some individuals. The forewing appears banded due to darker grayer shading in the inner medial area abutting the straight antemedial line, in the distal subterminal area, and in the medial terminal area. The postmedial dark shade is straight medially but irregular laterally where it abuts the pale subterminal line. An oblique dark mark of variable prominence is present at the apex. The medial line is sinuous, slightly darker than the ground. The postmedial line is relatively faint, slightly irregular, with dark inner and light outer components. Both wings have a dark terminal lines, strongest between veins, and ground-color fringes. The forewing orbicular spot is absent or a faint dark dot. The reniform spot is nearly black, occasionally absent, telephone-receiver-shaped or broken into anterior and posterior dots. The hindwing also appears banded due to dark medial and postmedial lines and a dark shading on both sides of the sinuous lighter subterminal line that is darkest on the posterior half of the wing. The hindwing discal spot faintly darker or absent. The head and thorax are similar to the darker forewing bands in color. The labial palps are long, curving over the top of the head. The male antenna is filiform with dense cilia on the ventral surface.

Phalaenophana pyramusalis can be distinguished from similar detritus-feeding moths by the straight forewing lines, banded appearance, and dark reniform spot that is often broken into two spots.



Phalaenophana pyramusalis occurs in forests.


Pacific Northwest

This moth reaches the northwestern limit of its range in the Peace River District of British Columbia. It has only been found once in the Pacific Northwest.


This is predominantly a species of eastern and central North America. It is widespread in most of the East as far north as southern Canada, excluding Florida, to the eastern edge of the Great Plains. Its range extends west to northern Alberta in Canada.

Life History


The larva is a detritivore that feeds on dead and decaying leaves.


This species has several broods and can be found in most warm months in the East. The only record from the Pacific Northwest is from mid-June. It is a nocturnal moth that comes to lights.

Economic Importance




Moth Photographers Group