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 . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

LepCourse 2013 – learn about moths and butterflies!

I’m excited to be participating this year as an instructor for the Lepidoptera Course at the Southwestern Research Station near Portal, Arizona. I’ll be one of eight other instructors who will provide a hands on and intense 9-day long course on the collection, preservation and identification of Lepidoptera. I really can’t imagine a better way . . . → Read More: LepCourse 2013 – learn about moths and butterflies!

Monday Moth

This week I’m sharing a tiny, scruffy, and semi-competently spread Nepticulidae in the genus Stigmella from the same light trap of Prescott Arizona as the past few Monday Moths. I usually wouldn’t share a photo of a moth that isn’t in the best condition, but I’m using this as an example of . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

Monday Moth

How about another unidentified Gelechiidae from the same location as the previous specimen (nr. Prescott Arizona). I’m taking a stab at this moth being in the genus Chionodes – and it is superficially similar to the species C. continuella. Thankfully there is a monograph of this group (Moths of America North of Mexico, fascicle 7.6) . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

Monday Moth


This moth is a good example of what a lot of my moths are at the moment – unidentified! This is certainly a Gelechiidae, you can see the large upturned palps on the front of the head, and a finger-shaped projection on the tips of the hindwings. Just about one of the easiest . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

A Copper Butterfly in Disguise

For all intents and purposes this looks like a blue butterfly (as in subfamily Polyommatinae)… it’s very, very blue after all. But assumptions based on color would lead you down the incorrect road; as it turns out this butterfly is actually a species copper. There are subtle difference in wing shape and probably venation, but . . . → Read More: A Copper Butterfly in Disguise

Busy as a Moth

That’s how the saying goes, right? Two weeks ago I participated in the 5th annual National Geographic BioBlitz over in Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona. It was a great excuse to get back into the field and it was the first time I collected Arizona in the fall. Temps were still pushing the mid . . . → Read More: Busy as a Moth

Monday Moth

Schinia villosa


This Monday’s moth is a duo of Schinia villosa (Noctuidae) resting on what I am assuming is their host plant (Erigeron sp.). I snapped this shot around 9,000 feet up on the Kaibab plateau in Northern Arizona last month. A fire must have burned the area a few years ago because . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

Net-Winged Beetle

These large and interesting Lycidae beetles (Lycus fernandezi) were abundant in south eastern Arizona a few weeks ago. Constantly flying between flowers and moist sand they were making for easy photography targets. I thought to myself “here is a great opportunity to catch a beetle taking off!”.

Wait for it…

Lycus fernandezi (Lycidae)


. . . → Read More: Net-Winged Beetle

Monday Moth

Today’s moth is a beautiful and rare species from SE Arizona and Mexico: Lerina incarnata (Erebidae: Arctiinae). Like many other day flying species it is brilliantly colored and quite likely aposematic. After all, the host plant is a milkweed and the caterpillar is just as stunning (below).

Lerina incarnata (Erebidae: Arctiinae)


This image . . . → Read More: Monday Moth