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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

A Noctuid Moth - Mesogona olivata

Native Species

Global Rank: GNR
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status


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General Description
The Mesogona olivata forewing length is 15 – 20 mm. The ground color of the head, dorsal antennae, thorax, and forewing is variable, ranging from dull tan to reddish brown, gray-brown, or cream. The median area of the forewing and postmedian space at costa are darker than the ground color. The palpi have a mixture of ground color and dark scales. The forewing margin is crenulate. The forewing lines are double, smooth, and are filled with pale color. The basal line is sinuous and evident only near costa. The antemedian line is oblique and undulating. The outer line is dark. The postmedian line is smooth, and laterally convex. The subterminal line is sinuous and indistinct with a series of dark spots between the veins. The terminal line is thin and dark. The orbicular and reniform spots are large and pale with darker filling. The claviform spot is absent. The hindwing is variable with fuscous gray to reddish color that is always suffused with gray scales. Individuals from semi-desert locales tend to be pale while those from more mesic forest are darker (Powell and Opler, 2009).

Mesogona olivata adults fly from late August to November, with the earliest flight in the northern part of its range (Powell and Opler, 2009).

Range Comments
This common species occurs from southern coastal and interior British Columbia south through California, Colorado and Texas (Powell and Opler, 2009).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Mesogona olivata prefers dry open forest but also lives in shrub steppe and mesic forest habitats (Powell and Opler).

Food Habits
Mesogona olivata larvae feed on deciduous shrubs and trees which include oak, hazel, alder, and antelope brush (Powell and Opler, 2009).

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Citation for data on this website:
A Noctuid Moth — Mesogona olivata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from