Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Amphipyra tragopoginis

The Mouse



This species occurs in Europe and in North America. It is believed not to be native to North America but to have had a human-assisted passage here. I have found and reared the caterpillar on Plantago lanceolatum, Sambucus sp., Epilobium angustifolium, Urtica dioica, Arabis glabra, Linaria canadensis, and in captivity it has readily accepted lettuce and the flowers of various poppies (Papaver, Meconopsis, Eschscholzia). It does, however, have an obvious favorite, and that is the pappus of the seeds of the Oyster Plant Tragopogon porrifolius, as was doubtless also noted by whomever named the species tragopoginis. One of the photographs indeed shows it enjoying its favorite meal.

The adult moth is mouse-coloured, with three dark spots forming a narrow triangle, and it also has the very mouse-like characteristic of scuttling low down along the ground hiding among the denser growth of grass.

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