This beautiful Eurasian moth was accidentally introduced into North America on the east side of the Cascades in Oregon around 2003. It has since spread outside of the Pacific Northwest, east to Utah and Colorado. Sightings in Nebraska have also been recorded on iNaturalist and BugGuide.
The moths fly from August and September here in North America, but are on the wing from March to September in Europe. Found in disturbed roadside, urban, and agricultural habitats at low elevations, caterpillars are specialists on wild lettuce (Lactuca spp.) in the aster family (Asteraceae). Larvae have been commonly found on another introduced species, prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola). According to the Pacific Northwest Moths website, “This species has the potential to become a pest in commercial lettuce seed crops.”
Size: Wingspan 32–34 mm
Photo by: Kelly Dix the week before 9/13/21 in Lolo, MT