Aidan photographed this striking, day-flying moth while monitoring trumpeter swans near Ovando. We initially thought it was a Ridings’ Forester Moth (Alypia ridingsii), but it lacks the “white stripes” on the thorax (among other differences). Adults visit flowers, with individuals noted taking nectar from Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) in the Cascades. Larvae are specialists of various plants in the primrose family, including clarkia, fireweed, and evening primrose. This Macculloch’s flies in the spring and summer, generally earlier at low elevations and later at high altitudes. It is widely distributed in open habitats across Canada, extending throughout much of western North America.
Photo by: Aidan Duffield on 6/27/21 near Ovando, MT