There is a real lack of information available for this species of Crambid moth. This is the only one I’ve found and the only adventure in that was that it flew off as soon as I removed the top of its refrigerated enclosure. But it settled on the ceiling and I managed to photograph it there. So I guess the life and times of Mecyna mustelinalis will just have to mostly remain a mystery.
Description-Medium sized (fw length 12-16mm) moth with dusty brown forewings and mostly indistinct black transverse lines, except that the postmedial line is a curved step composed of some white dots and many black dots.
Similar species-Other Mecyna spp. tend to be yellower; Stegea salutalis has solid white transverse lines.
Habitat-In California it is known from chaparral, but records from our region indicate it is also found in forested, montane environments.
Range-Western North America; Cascades and foothills of the Rockies in our region, but probably more widespread.
Eats– “…nothing seems to have been recorded on its larval biology.” Powell/Opler (Moths of Western North America; 2009)
Reproduction-“…evidently univoltine” according to Powell/Opler; ibid.
Adults active-March to August, with the peak in July
Etymology of names–Mecyna may be from the Greek for ‘delay’. The specific epithet mustelinalis may be from the Latin for weasel, but I can’t say for sure about either name, nor guess what they may reference.