Friday, October 8, 2010

Agapema anona

Originally posted over at Seetrail; backdated here.

alias Mexican Agapema, alias Greasewood Silkmoth, alias William H. Bonney....

Heidi gave me a call this morning:
H- Matt, get your butt up here and get the camera out of the jeep
me- okay, okay.... , I am working in here.
H- alright, just hurry
me - okay...., what is i -


WOW!!!!!! Great find, Heidi! Agapema anona is a member of the family Saturniidae, or "Silkmoths". The members of this family are our largest moths, however they are not always humongous. This particular individual's wingspans might be slightly longer than two quarters stacked side-by-side. Absolutely spectacular male on a very cool morning. I can tell this guy is male due to the crazy feathery antennae. This attribute detects the subtle fragrance of a pheromone released by the female. This is intentional on her part, and is in a way.. a "call ." With a breeze, this male may be able to detect a "call" from half a mile a way.

A. anona larva feed on various condalia (Condalia spp.) and Greasewood (Sarcobatus spp). Certainly some of that around. Adult females spin the cocoon in the branches of these host-plants. This species is thus far known to range from SE Arizona, S New Mexico, and far-west Texas.


We are happy to range here too.


Edit: this lovely fellow was found early in the morning out near the public laundry room at the Marathon Motel. -heidi

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