Xestia verniloides Lafontaine, 1998
BC : Squamish-Lillooet Co.
Diamond Head tr., 6454 ft
August 26, 1953, W. R. M. Mason.
Specimen courtesy of LGCC
Photograph copyright: Merrill A. Peterson
Xestia verniloides has the most limited range of the four similar species in the Xestia infimatis species-group and is only found in southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Washington. Like the other members of this species-group, it is medium-sized (FW length 16 - 19 mm). The forewing is light whitish gray to blue-gray without areas of warm colors, finely streaked due to thin dark veins and accentuation of the horizontal elements of the lines and spots. The terminal area is slightly darker opposite the cell and in the fold. The lines are obscure except at the costa and as a series of horizontal spots on the postmedial line marking the tips of the teeth. The orbicular spot is black, a long slightly oblique bar with lighter gray filling. The reniform spot is more obscure, often evident as the medial edge and darker gray filling, with the posteromedial margin drawn toward the wing base to overlap the lateral orbicular spot in some individuals. The hindwing is medium slightly brownish gray, darker on the distal wing, with a gray discal spot and whitish-gray fringe. The head and thorax match the forewing color with horizontal gray barring across the distal collar and dark edges on the tegulae. The male antenna is strongly biserrate.
This species' name reflects its similarity to Xestia vernilis, which is found in the eastern part of the Northwest, but they are not likely to be confused because their ranges do not overlap. Xestia verniloides is most likely to be confused with Xestia finatimis. This species has patches of warmer light tan to red-brown on the distal forewing that are lacking in X. verniloides.
Xestia is a large and diverse genus found throughout temperate, alpine, and arctic portions of the Northern Hemisphere. The genus is subdivided into three subgenera, Xestia, Megasema, and Pachnobia, by Lafontaine (1998). The genus is defined by a thumb-like ventral extension called the pollex which arises from the base of the clasper of the male valve. Xestia verniloides is placed in the subgenus Xestia.
The type locality of Xestia verniloides Lafontaine is Squamish, British Columbia.
This species is narrowly endemic to forest habitats in southwestern British Columbia and adjacent northern Washington.
Xestia verniloides has a very small range in southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Washington. It is found near the Gulf of Georgia although it occurs in forests rather than littoral habitats.
This species does not occur outside our region.
No information is presently available regarding larval foodplants of this species, but it probably feeds on various hardwoods based on closely related species.
This species flies in August and is nocturnal.