New York Natural Heritage Program
The Pink Streak
Dargida rubripennis (Grote and Robinson, 1870)
Insects

Identifying Characteristics [-]
The pink streak is a medium-sized, straw-colored noctuid moth with prominent pink streaks on the forewings. Often, it has a dark olive thorax. The wingspan is approximately 32-37 mm. See the figure in Covell (1984). The larva is usually brown, but sometimes it is green. It is striped lengthwise much as in Leucania species, several of which are illustrated by Godfrey (1972) (NatureServe 2010).

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
The combination of pink streaks on the forewings and appropriate wingspan are diagnostic for adults of the species (NatureServe 2010).

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
The adult is the best life stage for identification. Larvae should be reared out for positive identification (NatureServe 2010).

Behavior [-]
The pink streak spends almost 11 months of the year as a pupa several cm underground. Therefore it will usually not be vulnerable to fires except during the brief adult and larval periods in late summer. Adults lay eggs in groups inside flowering stems of grasses (NatureServe 2010), particularly switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in New Jersey (Wagner et al. 2008).

Diet [-]
Adults may or may not feed. They do not come to sugar baits and have not been seen on flowers. Larvae feed on grasses. In New Jersey, they feed especially on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) (Wagner et al. 2008). Apparently larvae feed inside flowering stems for the first instar. It is believed that intermediate instar larvae eat foliage as well as flowers and seeds. The last instar feeds mainly on the developing seeds (NatureServe 2010).
The Pink Streak Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
The best time to see the pink streak is during its flight season. In New York State, it has been captured flying from early July until early August.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Present Reproducing Larvae present and active Eggs present outside adult
The time of year you would expect to find The Pink Streak present (red shading), reproducing (blue shading), larvae present and active (green shading) and eggs present outside adult (orange shading) in New York.