- resembling an enigma, or a puzzling occurrence, situation, etc.; perplexing; mysterious.
genus of moth, with over 120 species in the PNW, characterized by extreme difficulty in identification due to polymorphism, sexual dimorphism, and wide variation between individuals.
Identifying Euxoa moths by external morphology is extremely difficult. Forewing shape can provide a clue, as can vein and fringe color of the hindwing, but beyond that, one is left with an almost insurmountable challenge. In fact, true species ID can only be accomplished by genitalia dissection and/or PCR.
Some of the known crop pests we have in Oregon include:
E. ochrogaster, the red-backed cutworm
E. auxiliaris, army cutworm
E. messoria, darksided cutworm
Other species, including E. punctigera and E. vetusta are quite common here, according to sighting records, but no one has any idea what the larval foodplants may be, or if they behave differently than related species.
I am currently building an identification key to some of our most common cutworms and armyworms. There is a preview here, and as always, feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.