Français | MBA Home | ACCDC Home
MBA Home

Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius)

Description: A small orange brown butterfly. Upperside orange centrally and brown medially, underside of forewing largely orange, underside of hindwing largely brown, both with pale margined dark orange blotches. It is more likely to be confused with any of several small orange day flying moths than another butterfly. Wingspan: 23 to 32 mm.

Maritime Distribution: Widespread though apparently not recorded from Cape Breton Island. For Atlas results click here.

Provincial Ranks: NB: S4S5. NS: S4. PEI: S1S2.

Flight Period: Late April to late September, number of generations unknown.

Host Plant: Unique among the Maritime (and indeed North American) butterfly species in that its larvae are carnivorous, feeding exclusively on woolly aphids, and in the Maritimes it is typically associated with woolly aphids on alders (Alnus spp.).

Notes: This species is best sought where stands of alders grow along wood roads. The adults can occasionally be seen laying eggs among the aphids and feeding on the honeydew produced by their woolly aphid prey. Adults are often chased away from the aphids by yellowjackets and ants. Quick fliers when disturbed, they dart away erratically but frequently return to the same perch and are easily observed. They also visit damp soil, carrion, and animal droppings.