great brocade

(Eurois occulta)

great brocade
Photo by Luciearl
  Hodges #

10929

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Great brocade is medium-sized moth but a large dart moth. It occurs across the Northern Hemisphere, in Europe, Asia, Greenland, and North America. In the United States it occurs in the east from Maine to North Dakota south to Pennsylvania and Illinois, and in the west from Washington to California east to Montana and New Mexico. It also occurs in Alaska and in every province of Canada. It is absent from the Great Plains. Though widespread and fairly common in other areas, it is considered uncommon in northeastern North America, including in Minnesota. Larvae (cutworms) feed on the leaves of a variety of trees and shrubs, including tamarack, cedar, willow, birch, quaking aspen, alder, sweetgale, snowberry, blueberry, and meadowsweet. It has been speculated that defoliation caused by the cutworms is responsible for the demise of the Vikings in Greenland. Adults are found in coniferous and mixed forests, birch-aspen forests, and bogs. They feed on flower nectar.

The adult moth is 1 to 1 (29 to 35 mm) in length and has a wingspan of 1¼ to 2 (32 to 60 mm). It is the largest dart moth in northeast United States.

The forewing is long, moderately narrow, and variably colored, with an intricate, contrasting, brocade-like pattern. This is the feature that gives the moth its common name. The background color is pale gray, grayish-brown, or reddish-brown, and there are dark areas and markings of the same color. The central area (cell) of the forewing is darkest. The basal, antemedial (AM), and postmedial (PM) lines are each represented by a two very dark lines with pale color between them. The basal and AM lines are irregular. The PM line has a light and a dark dot at the outer point of each scallop. The subterminal line is represented by a row of inward-pointing chevrons. The terminal area is pale. The terminal line is row of black or blackish-brown triangles between the veins. There are three spots on the median area. A large, pale, egg-shaped to diamond-shaped spot near the AM line (orbicular spot) contrasts sharply with the background. A smaller, cone-shaped spot connected to the AM line (claviform spot) is slightly paler than the background. A larger kidney-shaped spot (reniform spot) has a pale background but is heavily dusted with dark scales. It is mostly dark and does not stand out well from the background. All three spots have a dark outline. There is a short dark dash in the basal area, a dark line connecting the orbicular and reniform spots, and a dark line below the claviform spot.

The hindwing is a medium shade of the forewing colors, darker on the outer third. It is unmarked except for a faint, crescent shape (linule) in the discal area. The fringe is white and highly contrasting.

The head and thorax are same color as the forewing and also have dark lines. The antennae are slender and thread-like on both sexes. The eyes are bare.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 1 to 1 (29 to 35 mm)

Wingspan: 1¼ to 2 (32 to 60 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Coniferous and mixed forests, birch-aspen forests, and bogs

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation per year: mid-June to September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are active at night and will come to light. When disturbed, they tend to drop to the ground and scurry under debris, rather than fly away.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Partially grown larvae overwinter. They resume feeding in April and pupate in June or July. Adults emerge in late summer.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Leaves of a variety of trees and shrubs, including tamarack, cedar, willow, birch, quaking aspen, alder, sweetgale, snowberry, blueberry, and meadowsweet

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

21, 24, 29, 30, 71, 75, 82.

 
  9/17/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Widespread and fairly common in other areas, uncommon in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
  Clade Coelolepida  
  Clade Myoglossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  Clade Eulepidoptera  
  Clade Ditrysia  
  Clade Apoditrysia  
  Clade Obtectomera (macro-moths and butterflies)  
  Clade Macroheterocera (true butterflies, butterfly-moths, and other macro-moths)  
 

Superfamily

Noctuoidea (owlet moths and allies)  
 

Family

Noctuidae (cutworm moths and allies)  
 

Subfamily

Noctuinae (cutworms and dart moths)  
 

Tribe

Noctuini  
  Subtribe Noctuina  
 

Genus

Eurois  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Some taxonomists recognize two subspecies: Eurois occulta occulta, restricted to Greenland; Eurois occulta occulta, distributed across the Northern Hemisphere.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Eurois occulta implicata

Eurois occulta occulta

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

great brocade

great brocade moth

great dart

great gray dart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Antemedial (AM) line

A thin line separating the basal area and the median area of the forewing of Lepidoptera.

 

Claviform spot

A round or wedge-shaped spot in the inner median area, between the orbicular spot and the inner margin, connected to the AM line, on the forewing of many moths.

 

Orbicular spot

A circular spot or outline in the outer median area near the antemedial line on the forewing of many moths.

 

Postmedial (PM) line

A thin line separating the median area and the postmedial area of the forewing of Lepidoptera.

 

Reniform spot

A kidney-shaped spot or outline in the outer median area near the postmedial line on the forewing of many moths.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Luciearl

 
 

Resting on a window at Mayo Clinic

 
    great brocade      
           
 
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Other Videos
 
  Eurois occulta; Great gray dart; kihaöölane | #shorts
eElurikkus
 
   
 
About

Nov 24, 2019

Great gray dart #shorts. Quick video of elurikkus in Estonia.

Rights holder: Allan Zirk.
License: Attribution (CC BY).

🔔 Subscribe for more short videos like this: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYsk7unnWBPw15uWplusmAw

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  Större skogsfly, Eurois occulta
Bi & Logi
 
   
 
About

Jan 6, 2015

Ett Större skogsfly (Noctuinae: Eurois occulta) suger i sig safter från de uttorkade brakvedsbären en varm augustidag.

Google translation: A larger forest fly (Noctuinae: Eurois occulta) sucks juices from the dried brackish berries on a hot August day.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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  Luciearl
9/8/2021

Location: Rochester, MN

Resting on a window at Mayo Clinic

great brocade

 
           
 
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Created: 9/17/2021

Last Updated:

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