Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday Night Blacklights - Week 2

Yesterday evening: 11 March 2011

This time we made it out to the Marathon Motel Courtyard Cafe.
The moth numbers and diversity were 2 to 3 times that of only a week ago.

A few evening highlights:

Melipotis jucunda "Merry Melipotis"
This species has been around for most of our early-yr blacklighting sessions

Hyles lineata "White-lined Sphinx"
This individual corkscrewed its way onto a participants foot then to the sheet. At first we thought it missing the right side hindwing.

However, we learned that it had recently eclosed to its adult stage. Recent enough that the right hindwing had yet to fully erect. Near the end of the two-hr session it flew without issue off into the night.

This beautiful, furry moth belongs to the "Prominent Moth" family Notodontidae and a species within the Tolype genus. There were 3-4 of these this session.

13 March 2011 **EDIT**:
I now believe this to be Apotolype brevicrista. Same family, very similar genus. A slightly noticeable difference being that the "metallic thoracic patch is smaller in Apotolype species." - Powell and Opler, Moths of Western North America. 2009

"Apotolype brevista ranges from western TX to central Arizona, and thence south to central Mexico. Adults are found from March to September, and there are several broods annually.." - Powell and Opler, Moths of Western North America. 2009

Finally, here's a photo of a big peculiar member of the Geometridae family.

Synaxis cervinaria
Heidi first noticed this individual's arrival.

I also found it the next day on the chair we left it to previously.....
Come on by and join us.
Just watch where you sit.


  1. Wow, that's pretty awesome stuff. Beautiful creatures that we seldom really look at.

  2. ..And these are still cool early-mid March evenings.
    Just wait.

  3. Butterflies are beautiful, but I truly think that moths are the gems of the lepidops! Of the 4 you pictured, the only one I have found myself is the White-lined Sphinx. I would love to see any of the others,especially the one belonging to the Tolype genus. Beautiful specimen!

  4. Thanks for the kind words lulubelle.

    See recent edit regarding Tolype vs. Apotolype species.
    This particular species has several broods through September in much of its range. The eastern-most of its range being W.TX.

    They were the favorite of the evening, and now I know a bit more of the Family.

    Thanks for hanging around. Hope to see you out this way again.

    Happy migration and vernal equinox!