Feltia nigrita (Graeser, 1892)
Brooks Range, T30N R16E, Kateel River, N side of Nigu River
June 28, 1983, L Crabo.
Specimen courtesy of LGCC
Photograph copyright: Merrill A. Peterson
Feltia nigrita is a dark gray-brown moth with light ochre filling of the reniform spot and black in the cell between the spots that is restrited to northern British Columbia in the Pacific Northwest. It is small to medium-sized (FW length 13 - 17 mm). The black transverse lines are relatively inconspicuous against the dark ground color, as is the thin claviform spot. The postmedial line is scalloped and broadly convex toward the outer margin. The orbicular and reniform spots are large, with black outer and light ochre inner components. The reniform spot is the most prominent forewing marking due to its light filling. The hindwing is light yellowish gray with faint gray discal spot, postmedial line, submarginal band, and terminal line. The head and base of the collar are wood brown. The tip of the collar is light yellow brown, separated from the base by a black transverse line. The remainder of the thorax is yellow-brown. The male antenna is bead-like.
Feltia nigrita can be identified from other species in its northern distribution by the combination of dark gray-brown forewing and light-filled reniform spot. Xestia ursae and Xestia atrata occur in the north and also have dark brown forewings, but both species lack the light reniform spot of F. nigrita.
The larva is smooth, pale brown dorsally and dark brown laterally with fine dark brown mottling. It is illustrated by Lafontaine (2004).
This species is widely distributed in boreal spruce-fir or pine forests in northern North America and Eurasia. It has also been collected over dry tundra in northern Alaska.
Feltia nigrita has only been found at Pink Mountain in north-eastern British Columbia in our region. It is undoubtedly more widely distributed in the northern Rocky Mountains in northern British Columbia.
This species is found in subarctic and montane north-western North America from northern Manitoba and the Alberta Rocky Mountains to the Brooks Range in northern Alaska.
No information is presently available regarding larval foodplants of this species.
Feltia nigrita is single brooded and flies during summer. The only British Columbia records are from July.