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!

The Last Butterfly Described in the US?

I came across this short article today claiming that this recent description of the hairstreak butterfly, Ministrymon janevicroy Glassberg 2013, may in fact be the “last truly distinctive butterfly species left to be discovered in the United States…. [and] the era of new U.S. butterfly species is ending”. I find that statement a little bit . . . → Read More: The Last Butterfly Described in the US?

National Moth Week 2012

The first annual National Moth Week will be this summer, July 23-29, 2012! This is the first event of its kind in the US (it has been popular in the UK for quite some time) and is an attempt to encourage people to head outside and explore their often overlooked moth fauna. The US has . . . → Read More: National Moth Week 2012

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

Gnophaela vermiculata pair


This Monday moth is an Arctiinae, Gnophaela vermiculata. These beautiful day flying moths were abundant on yellow Helianthus flowers around 9000′ in the Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico. Caterpillars feed on bluebells, but the adults prefer the highest quality nectar source in the area – which fortunately makes for . . . → Read More: Monday Moth

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

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

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