Greya obscuraOlle Pellmyr
Wing expanse 10.5-19 mm. Forewings gray to light brown in the male, dark stramineous or with slight bronzy iridescence in the female, suffused with white ot whitish yellow, forming more or less distinct wing patterning. A rhomboid pale subtornal patch creates an arrowhead when the moth is at rest. Hindwing usually of the same shade as forewing or darker, without pattern.
Comparison with Similar Species
Lightly marked specimens can be mistaken for the sometimes coexisting G. politella. The light subtornal patch is usually present to some degree, even in the weakest of patterned specimens. Definitive identification can be established by checking for a minute pollex in obscura males as opposed to a prominent one in politella, and the absence in obscura of the much elongated seventh abdominal segment in female politella.
Host, Oviposition, and Larval Feeding Habits
The species feeds exclusively on several species of Lithophragma (Saxifragaceae). Eggs are laid in the floral calyx and in stem portion. Larvae do not feed on seeds, and are believed to mine in adjacent vegetative parts.
Ranging from the drier southwesternmost part of Oregon to the San Garbriel Mountains aand southern Sierra Nevada of California.
Occurring in grassy portions of open oak woodland, with or without a shrub component. Elevational range 300-1000 m. The species coexists with politella, solenobiella, powelli and suffusca.
Davis, D.R., O. Pellmyr & J.N. Thompson. 1992. Biology and systematics of Greya Busck and Tetragma n. gen. (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae). Smiths. Contrib. Zool. 524:1-88.
Pellmyr, O., J.N. Thompson, J. Brown & R.G. Harrison. 1996. Evolution of pollination and mutualism in the yucca moth lineage. Amer. Nat. 148:827-847.
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University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA
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Pellmyr, Olle. 1996. Greya obscura http://tolweb.org/Greya_obscura/12320/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction).