Ottawa (Dunrobin), ON Canada
7 June 2004 9:39PM EST (top left and right)
7 June 2004 9:40PM EST (bottom)
The first two photos are of the same specimen.
My thanks to Dr. Jean-François Landry of Agriculture Canada for
determining the identification of the first specimen above, which was collected
and given to the Canadian National Collection in Ottawa. This specimen has
also been included in the All Leps Barcode of Life project of the Biodiversity
Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph. Some additional
information has been obtained from Forbes, William T.M., The Lepidoptera of New York and
Neighboring States, Primitive Forms, Microlepidoptera, Pyraloids, Bombyces
(Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, 1923).
Retinia albicapitana, also known as the Northern Pitch
Twig Moth, has a light reddish-brown buff
forewing crossed with silver to lead-gray striae. In some lights the
striae appear quite shiny. The head and the front of the thorax are creamy
white, but the rest of the thorax is orange, with a whitish scale tuft at the
posterior end. Forbes (1923) describes the fringe as "lead gray with
black basal line," clearly visible in the bottom photo above. Forbes indicates a wingspan of
16 to 19 mm.
It should be noted that Retinia albicapitana is one of
several species in this group of moths that have considerable similarity in
gross physical appearance. Identification on the basis of photos alone is
therefore likely to be unreliable.
According to Forbes (1923) and various Internet sources, the
larvae of Retinia albicapitana form large pitch nodules on the twigs
and branches of various pine species. I have no information on adult
flight season beyond my own observations.
My records to date for Retinia albicapitana (each date
representing "the night of") are in the table below: