Monday Moth

This beautiful animal is a moth I reared from Quercus palmeri down in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona. It’s in the family Gracillariidae and most likely in the genus Acrocercops – according to Dave Wagner it may represent a new species, but that’s not an uncommon thing with small moths. It was fairly abundant, so the short series I have will probably remain in the Denver Museum until someone would like to work on the alpha taxonomy of the group (or the day comes when I actually don’t have manuscripts piling up). Finding a caterpillar mining a leaf in the wild and rearing it at home is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a naturalist. Charley Eiseman over on Bug Tracks does this all the time (and illustrates it beautifully) – not only do you end up with a beautiful specimen, but the host plant and often parasitoids are all recorded in this process.

Acrocercops sp. unknown (Gracillariidae)

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