Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Platypolia contadina (Smith, 1894)

Family: Noctuidae
Subfamily: Noctuinae
Identification: There are two forms - light and dark (perhaps corresponding to the two subspecies?) - forewing of light form mostly whitish with contrasting black markings; forewing of dark form mostly brownish-gray with slightly darker median area; in both forms, AM, PM, and subterminal lines jagged; reniform and orbicular spots large, filled with ground color; thin dark bar usually connects AM line to PM line near inner margin; hindwing brownish-gray with darker veins and diffuse discal spot; top of thorax colored similarly to forewing in both forms
Wing Span: about 4.0 cm
Life History:
Flight: adults fly in fall
Caterpillar Hosts: leaves of flowering trees and shrubs, especially blueberry/huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.)
Adult Food:
Habitat: wet western coniferous and mixed forests
Range: British Columbia and Alberta to California and Utah
Management Needs:
Taxonomy Notes: None.

Pollinator Week was June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.