Monday Moth

Today’s moth is an understated brown Crambidae, Loxostege brunneitincta. While this isn’t a particularly captivating moth it does have an interesting story that illustrates the need for scientific collections and museum loans. If you read the label image you will notice the moth was originally collected in 1927 by E. P. Van . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

Back to Blogging!

As I’m sure you’ve noticed things have been awfully quiet around here for the last two months. Most of January I was busy with a move, from San Francisco to Chicago. Unfortunately the foundation that was supporting my work at the California Academy of Sciences had some tough financial calls to make and my position . . . → Read More: Back to Blogging!

Monday Moth

Trosia nigrorufa (Megalopygidae)


This Monday moth is a stunning female of the Neotropical Megalopygidae – Trosia nigrorufa. Ed Ross and Ev Schlinger collected this specimen in Peru in 1955, and I’ve heard many stories about these epic expeditions. I can’t really imagine travelling via cargo ship, being gone for six or more months . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

Monday Moth

Oops, I skipped last monday’s moth, so here are two! These are some stunners from the CAS Philippines expedition and I think I have figured out their names. If you know better, please correct me.


Parasa darma (Limacodidae)


Parotis marginata (Crambidae)


. . . → Read More: Monday Moth

Insects of the Philippines I

A month ago or so the California Academy of Sciences launched a full fledged expedition to the Philippines. While the majority of the cash was spent on a clipper ship and dive teams, there was a terrestrial component. While I didn’t get to go (and sat at home and pouted), I did talk some of . . . → Read More: Insects of the Philippines I

Monday Moth

Last week Jim Hayden guessed the moth I posted was an Australian Oecophoridae. It was a good guess because there are so many large and stunning moths in this family from Australia. One of the best has to be this one, Wingia lambertella (Oecophoridae), captured on Black Mountain in Canberra October 23, 1955 (CAS collections). . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

Monday Moth

ANSWER: This wasn’t easy – but this large and beautiful moth was from Australia and is in the family Xyloryctidae (Philarista sp.). We have a handful of representatives of this group here in the US and Ted MacRae over on Beetles in the Bush has a few great photographs of them. Somehow I think we . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

Monday Moth

I’ll keep the ball rolling with Arctiinae and post a photo today of Ctenucha brunnea. This moth can be common in tall grasses along beaches from San Francisco to LA – although in recent decades the numbers of this moth have been declining with habitat destruction and the invasion of beach grass (Ammophila arenaria). But . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

Monday Moth

I’m going to keep the ball rolling with this series and try to make it more regular. I will also focus on highlighting a new species each week from the massive collections here at the California Academy of Sciences. This should give me enough material for… at least a few hundred years.

Grammia edwardsii . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

The Arachnologists have landed

OK, not an insect…


For the next three weeks my colleagues from the Arachnology lab at the California Academy of Sciences are in the Philippines! (no, not jealous at all…) The trip is part of the CAS Hearst expedition, a massive effort spanning all of our research departments to survey the . . . → Read More: The Arachnologists have landed