New York Natural Heritage Program
A Noctuid Moth
Chytonix sensilis Grote, 1881

General Description [-]
Chytonix sensilis is very similar to other species in the genus. Even experts will have difficulty separating Chytonix sensilis from Chytonix ruperti, which could be the same species. The illustrations in Rings et al. (1992) and Rockburn and Lafontaine (1976) appear to be Chytonix ruperti. In general, Chytonix sensilis (and ruperti) adults are much grayer than the common Chytonix palliatricula and have a shorter flight season. Any specimens found before mid-July and in September, except possibly on Long Island, can be assumed to be Chytonix palliatricula. The typical southern Chytonix sensilis is illustrated by Kimball (1965).

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
The flight season is a strong clue that will aid in the identification of this species, as it will be found in July or August. It is much grayer than Chytonix palliatricula and differs in genitalia (see Forbes 1954). The possibly conspecific Chytonix ruperti differs slightly in genitalia, as shown by Forbes (1954) and tends to be brighter gray with less brown, more crisply marked and with a clear, sharply defined white spot on the forewing. The subterminal line of the forewing is preceded by a vague dark shade on Chytonix sensilis and usually by a series of dark spots on the lower half in Chytonix ruperti. Any identification of this species must be verified by an expert and may require genitalia dissection if the specimen is worn or to distinguish Chytonix ruperti from Chytonix sensilis. Field photographs under artificial lights should not be used for the basis of identification.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
Adult only.

Behavior [-]
The adults come readily to blacklights and sometimes also come to bait.

Diet [-]
The larvae apparently graze fungi in the leaf litter, mostly off of dead wood.
A Noctuid Moth Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
This species, including Chytonix ruperti, is strictly single brooded flying in about late July to mid-August in the Albany area. It likely occurs a bit later on Long Island (in August) and earlier in Clinton County (by mid-July). Specimens of this genus collected later or earlier than these dates are the common Chytonix palliatricula, which likely flies from May into September, as it does in New Jersey.
Reproducing Larvae present and active Pupae or prepupae present
The time of year you would expect to find A Noctuid Moth reproducing (blue shading), larvae present and active (green shading) and pupae or prepupae present (orange shading) in New York.
Similar Species
  • A Noctuid Moth (Chytonix ruperti)
    Chytonix sensilis and Chytonix ruperti are similar and there is a possibility that the two may actually be the same species.