New York Natural Heritage Program
Aureolaria Seed Borer
Pyrrhia aurantiago (Guenée, 1852)
Insects

Identifying Characteristics [-]
The Aureolaria seed borer has dark orange wings. The outer edges of the wings, spots of the forewing, and shading of the hind wing vary from pale to very dark purple. The lines on the wings are jagged and blackish. The wingspan is approximately 25-33 mm (Covell 1984). Older larvae are very dark brown, stout, hairless, "cutworm" type caterpillars. The back is paler than the sides, and a dark line runs down the middle of the back. Younger larvae are a pale translucent tan (D. Schweitzer, personal communication).

Behavior [-]
Aureolaria seed borers spend most of their lives as underground pupae. Adult moths fly from late July into September and lay eggs. Larvae occur from early September until late October or early November. Young larvae feed internally in the capsules of the foodplants. Older larvae feed by chewing holes into the seed capsules, inserting their heads, and eating the contents. The larvae themselves usually remain on the capsules even when resting during the day and night. In the late fall the larvae go underground, where they stay as pupae until they emerge as adult moths the following late July (D. Schweitzer, personal communication).

Diet [-]
Larvae feed only on fern-leaf yellow false foxglove (Aureolaria pedicularia) and smooth yellow false foxglove (A. flava).
Aureolaria Seed Borer Images
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The Best Time to See
In the northern part of its range, including New York State, adult Aureolaria seed borers fly from late July into September. In New York State, larvae have been found from early September until late October. Some larvae exist into November. The best time to see Aureolaria seed borers in New York State is from September to November, when larvae can be found by looking for holes, which are usually round and approximately 1-3 mm in diameter, in the stems or capsules of the foodplants, fern-leaf yellow false foxglove (A. pedicularia) and smooth yellow false foxglove (A. flava). The larvae themselves usually remain on the seed capsules, even when resting, and are easy to find during the day or night. Younger larvae feed internally in the capsules (D. Schweitzer, personal communication).
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Present Reproducing Larvae present and active
The time of year you would expect to find Aureolaria Seed Borer present (blue shading), reproducing (green shading) and larvae present and active (orange shading) in New York.