Pink Sallow (Psectraglaea carnosa)

Pink Sallow (Psectraglaea carnosa)

Photographs by Carol Muth

The Pink Sallow (Psectraglaea carnosa), also known as the Crimson Moth or Noctuid Moth (a generic name for a number of similar moths), is an insect in the Noctuidae (Owlet Moths) family. The order is Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths). 

These small moths have a wing span of about 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters). The forewings are reddish-pink to crimson. The hind wings are cream-colored with light patches of pink. There may be white stripes above the eyes. No other moth in northeastern North America has this coloring making the Pink Sallow easy to identify. However, these moths are rare and to find one near French Hill Pond might be considered unusual because they are usually found in sandy, pine or oak barrens. The photographs above were taken near French Hill Pond. These moths are also found in blueberry barrens, which may account for their presence in Downeast Maine. The adults fly in late September and during October mostly late at night. They are thought to occasionally consume nectar.

The female lays eggs in sand or leaf litter during the fall. The reddish-brown larvae hatch in the spring. The larvae food is thought to be Low-bush Blueberries, other plants in the Heath Family and plants in the Rose family. The adult coloring makes them difficult to see on blueberry barrens and on plants of the Heath Family in the fall.

 

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