The Pink-patched Looper Moth is a medium sized (FW length 16-18mm), singular looking Noctuid moth of undisturbed, forested stream corridors and lush montane meadows. It is uncommon to rare, and is considered to be management sensitive. It has a pink wing base, mottled gray forewing with a silver stigma, and a flange at the anal angle, and is unlikely to be confused with any other moth in our region. The larvae feed on Ranunculus in the genera Thalictrum (Meadow Rue) and Aquilegia (Columbines).
The first time I saw one of these I involuntarily barked a sharp, surprised, excited “ooo”, and my buddy Craig, who had brought it to my attention, said “That’s the sound I like to hear”. Thrilled as I was, this specimen is very worn and not nearly as spectacular as a fresh one would be.
Size- FW length 16-18mm
Habitat- Undisturbed, forested stream corridors and lush meadows.
Range- Disjunct populations in the Cascades, Coast range of nw Oregon, Blue Mtns, and the west slope of the Rockies
Eats- larval hosts are primarily Aquilegia spp and Thalictrum spp in our region
Flight Season- July/August