Schinia indiana
Phlox moth

Key Characteristics

Small, 1.3 inch (3.3 cm) wingspan. The forewing is deep, purplish red above and predominantly chocolate-brown beneath with a wine-red spot at the apex. The hind wing is dark chocolate-brown above; beneath it is wine-red on the other and anterior half and chocolate-brown on the posterior and inner half. Caterpillars have a dark head capsule and cream to pale greenish yellow body. As the caterpillars age they have an orange-fawn head capsule and grayish-green to bright green body suffused with reddish brown and marked with whitish gray lateral strips and a reddish brown mid-dorsal band highlighted by a greenish gray median line.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: E
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G2G4


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Schinia indiana

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Associated with the habitat for Karner blue butterflies. Michigan sites are in an area that formerly was pine-oak barrens with associated prairie openings, but now has succeeded to closed oak woods in which most of the prairie-like openings are caused by disturbances such as utility right-of-ways, roads, trails, off road vehicle activities, and home sites.

Specific Habitat Needs

Host plant needed in Oak-pine barrens, Mesic sand prairie, Mesic prairie, Dry-mesic prairie, Dry sand prairie

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Management of the barrens and prairie landscape complex for high-quality prairie openings would benefit this species. Management units should be large enough to accommodate multiple patches of each habitat type and designed so that species can migrate from one patch to another as the habitat at a given site becomes unsuitable. Appropriately timed, prescribed burns could be an effective management tool for Phlox moth habitat. Protection of existing populations from collection and surveys to locate additional populations are necessary.

Active Period

Flight from fourth week of May to second week of June

Survey Methods

Adults are well camouflaged on the flowers of Phlox pilosa, where they spend much of their time. Their wings are slightly darker than fresh blossoms, more closely resembling a partially dried corolla. Visually inspecting phlox flowers is the best method of locating this moth.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 23, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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