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Chelis beanii in western Montana - July 2023

Within the captivating world of moths, Chelis beanii shines as a distinctive and intriguing specimen. Inhabiting the subalpine realms of the northern Rocky Mountain region, this medium-sized moth boasts a unique set of characteristics.

Chelis beanii, measuring 16-17 millimeters in forewing length, showcases a mesmerizing reddish-brown hue. Its forewings are adorned with wide, dark rosy brown-gray lines that often merge into a central "V" shape or form irregular patches near the outer margin. The hindwings present a lighter, clear to smoky rose pink color, with dark rosy gray markings, including a discal spot, median line, and sometimes a marginal band. The head, thorax, and abdomen complement this unique coloration, while bipectinate antennae add to its allure. Notably, Chelis beanii can be distinguished from similar species by its broad forewing lines and distinctive hindwing medial band.

Chelis beanii can be found near timberlines at high elevations in the Rocky Mountains. Its preferred habitats include open forests, subalpine meadows, and parklands.

Chelis beanii maintains a relatively confined range within the Rocky Mountains. It thrives primarily in Alberta and British Columbia, reaching as far north as the 54th parallel. Additionally, it has been identified in southern Montana.

While limited information exists about its larval food sources, it likely feeds on general herbaceous vegetation, similar to related species.

Chelis beanii flies from mid-July to mid-August, it is often drawn to artificial lights.

Chelis beanii, with its distinct appearance and habitat preferences, stands as a captivating specimen in the world of moths. While much remains to be uncovered about its life history, its unique characteristics and limited geographic range make it a moth species worthy of admiration and study.

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