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?
The Hop Azure (Celastrina humulus) is a diminutive and uncommon blue found on the front range of the Rockies here in Colorado. Its host plant is the wild hop: Humulus lupulus, varieties of which are of course a critical ingredient in beer! In a week or two I’ll be out in the field looking to photograph this . . . → Read More: A Very Hoppy Butterfly Researcher
The time is fast approaching for this years National Moth Week, July 20-28 2013! The first ever Moth Week last year was a huge success with over 300 events from 49 US States and 30 countries! Help make this year even bigger – if you’re interested in moths at all you should find a local . . . → Read More: National Moth Week 2013!
For this Monday’s Moth I thought I’d post a brief tutorial on how to accurately determine the sex of moths. While there are lots of examples of sexually dimorphic species (where males and females are obviously different), the vast majority of moths are not. Saturniidae make our lives easy by having strikingly different antennae between . . . → Read More: How to Sex a Moth
Today’s moth is a beautiful species from the Rocky Mountains outside of Denver, Epermenia stolidota (Epermeniidae). This is actually a larger specimen than it appears, about 20mm from wingtip to wingtip. Those raised, darkened, tufts of scales on the posterior edge of the forewing is a great character for this . . . → Read More: Monday Moth
The story of many San Francisco butterflies are well known and depressing. The area has been heavily impacted by human development for over two centuries and is the infamous home to the first known example of an extinct American butterfly, the Xerces blue. While other butterflies are hanging on, or getting help to hang on . . . → Read More: When Taxonomy Makes a Species Less Critically Endangered
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
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 few months ago many of you probably stumbled across this meme – the famous Poodle Moth! And indeed for the most part the reporting was half decent. Yes, it’s real. Yes, it’s a moth. Yes, it’s probably a species in the Lasiocampidae (possibly the genus Artace) as correctly pointed out by Dr. John Rawlins.
. . . → Read More: The Poodle Moth and the Problem of Cryptozoology