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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Red-winged Wave - Dasyfidonia avuncularia

Native Species

Global Rank: G4?
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status


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General Description
The Red-winged Wave (Dasyfidonia avuncularia) is a colorful day-flying moth, occasionally mistaken for a butterfly when flying. The forewing is chocolate brown with a whitish submarginal shade, and black postmedial, antemedial and median lines. The hindwing is bright reddish orange with two bold black transverse lines and fine black striations. The wingspan is about 25 mm (Anweiler and Schmidt 2003).

The larvae are red-brown with shades of pink and have a broken yellow spiracular band (Powell and Opler 2009).

The immature stages are undescribed (Anweiler and Schmidt 2003). Adults are diurnal with a single flight from early April through early July (Powell and Opler 2009).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The similar Dasyfidonia macdunnoughi, which is endemic to the Cascades and Sierra Nevada of California, has a forewing with whitish bands in the median and basal areas, and the hindwing has only one (or none) complete black line. D. avuncularia is also superficially similar to The Infant Moth (Archiaris infans), but the hindwing has two crisp black lines not joined to a broad dark patch on the inner margin as it is in A. infans (McLeod 2006).

Range Comments
The Red-winged wave ranges from southwestern Alberta and southern British Columbia to southern Sierra Nevada (Tulare County), western Nevada and western Montana (Powell and Opler 2009).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 3

(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)

The Red-winged Wave is found in open conifer forests and sagebrush habitats (Powell and Opler 2009).

Food Habits
The larvae feed on Prunus leaves. Adults nectar at flowers including those of Ceanothus and Prunus (Powell and Opler 2009).

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Red-winged Wave — Dasyfidonia avuncularia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from