Ottawa (Dunrobin), ON Canada
My thanks to Dr.
J. Donald Lafontaine of Agriculture Canada for his assistance with
identifying this species. Five species of Semioscopis are known
to occur in the Ottawa area, of which S. merriccella and S.
packardella (also illustrated on this web site) have many similarities
As described by Hodges (Hodges, R.W., The Moths of
North America North of Mexico, Fascicle 6.2, Gelechioidea Oecophoridae
(London: E.W. Classey, 1974)), the brownish gray forewing
of S. merriccella has a sinuous black band
running from a point below the base to the end of the cell, with darker
brownish shading outside the hook-shaped part of this line at the end of the
cell. The inner part of this line is fairly thick. In contrast, in the few
specimens of the similar S. packardella that I have seen, this
sinuous band does not extend to the base of the forewing, and lacks the dark
shade beyond the outer "hook". According to Hodges,
the wing length of S. merriccella ranges from 11 to 15 mm.
could find no definite information as to host plants for this species.
The adult moth flies in the spring.
I have photographed this species
in 2002 on 18 April; in 2003 on 28 April.