Phlogophora periculosa Guenée, 1852

93-2292

Brown Angle Shades Moth

Identification

Adults

Phlogophora periculosa is a moderately large (FW length 19 - 22 mm) brown noctuid moth with green and pink hues on the forewing and a darker variably colored V-shaped median area that flies in forests throughout our region during the summer. The forewing is relatively long with a triangle shape to the distal wing and a strongly scalloped outer margin, especially near the apex. The color is smoothly motted medium-dark brown with a warm pink hue to the lower half of the wing and darker areas that often have an odd green or olive hue. The posterior base, the median area except the costa, adjacent superior cell, and area lateral to the reniform spot are darker fawn to greenish brown; the median area is darker chocolate brown in about half of specimens. The subterminal line is preceded by a smooth dark brown line and the terminal area is darker brown to dark gray below a light spot at the apex. One or two dark brown to black lunules are present between veins at the apex. The basal, antemedial, and postmedial lines are triple. The antemedial line is nearly straight and is oriented obliquely across the wing to meet the postmedial line at the trailing margin. The postmedial line is concave toward the base lateral to the reniform spot and the more posterior portion undulates obliquely across the lower part of the wing to meet the antemedial line at the trailing margin. The orbicular and reniform spots are large and are angled so that the posterior spots are close to each other or fused. The entire orbicular spot and the anterior and posteromedial portions of the reniform spot are filled with the ground color, while the lateral portion of the reniform spot is filled with the same darker color as the median area. The claviform spot is absent. The hindwing, including the fringe, is coppery or reddish brown with uneven suffusion of gray on the veins and submarginal and marginal bands. The discal spot and postmedial line are also gray. The thorax is pinkish brown with darker lines across the distal third and apex of the collar and on the medial edges of the tegulae. The edges of the collar and tegulae are raised slightly and there are dark-tipped stronger tufts on the posterior thorax. The male antenna is bead-like.

The anterior wing of this species is pleated when the moth is resting with the wings over its back. This feature is shared with other members of the tribe Phlogophorini, including Euplexia benesimilis in our area.

This species can usually be recognized by its large size, scalloped forewing margin with dark lunules on the terminal line at the apex, odd pink and greenish hue, and the darker V-shaped patch on the central wing comprised of the median area and similar color in the lateral reniform spot.

Larvae

Larva is smooth.  The color is variable from green to reddish-brown with dorsal white spots.  It is illustrated by Miller & Hammond (2003).

Habitat

This species is widely distributed throughout much of North America in moist forest habitats.  In the Pacific Northwest, it is particularly common in coastal rainforests of the Coast Range and along the west slope of the Cascades, but also occurs in moist hardwood-conifer forests of the Rocky Mountain region.

Distribution

Pacific Northwest

Phlogophora periculosa is found in forests throughout the Pacific Northwest. It occurs west of the Cascade and Coast Range Mountains from the California-Oregon border at least as far north as Vancouver Island. The range extends east and north into central and southern British Columbia, northeastern Washington, and northern Idaho.

Global

The range of this species extends south into coastal northern California but does not reach the San Francisco Bay region. It extends east across the boreal zone of southern Canada and the northern United States to the Atlantic. The limits of the range are Labrador, Georgia, and Mississippi in the East. This species does not appear to be found in the Rocky Mountains south of northern Idaho.

Life History

Larvae

This species is a very broad generalist feeding on all types of vegetation including herbs, ferns, hardwood shrubs and trees, and also conifers.

Adults

Phlogophora periculosa flies during the summer and has been collected during July and August in our area. It is nocturnal and comes to lights.

Economic Importance

None.

Literature

BugGuide

Covell (1984)

Miller & Hammond (2003)

Moth Photographers Group

Powell & Opler (2009)