Follow me on Twitter

Things have been quiet here for quite a while – mostly because I’ve been inundated with work (always a good thing). But I have also recently joined the party eight years late to the Twitter train. For daily images of cool insects please follow me over there @skepticalmoth. Of course some stories require . . . → Read More: Follow me on Twitter

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?

A Very Hoppy Butterfly Researcher

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 . . . → Read More: A Very Hoppy Butterfly Researcher

National Moth Week 2013!

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!

How to Sex a Moth

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

Monday 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

Happy Massacre Day

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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