Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New beetle and a bit of moth intrigue

Earlier this afternoon, I'd been out in the Meadow when I spotted a cool moth. Darn, no camera. So I headed back to the house and nearly got mowed down in the back yard by a HUGE flying insect or bug. It landed on the side of a barrel so I was able to see that it was a click beetle. Cool! I returned with my camera, but, alas, it was gone. However, I fortunately found it, sitting on the mulch not far away from the barrel. So I got some nice shots. Back at my desk, I've been able to identify it as a Texas eyed click beetle (Alaus lusciosus) big-eyed elater (Alaus oculatus). Pretty big beetle! At first, it reminded me at first of an ironclad beetle. The colors are similar.

Then I headed back out to the Meadow...hopefully, the moth was still there. And it was! This is a new species to me. Isn't it pretty? It's sitting atop a yet-to-bloom Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella). "Hmmm," I thought to myself at my desk later, "wonder if it's a gaillardia moth?"


Meet the gaillardia moth (Schinia masoni)! I've submitted this image to the Butterflies and Moths of North America website. BUT WAIT! I can't find this species on, only a Schinia volupia. So I've uploaded this image there to confer with their experts.

Further reading (posted June 2009) under this Schinia volupia image: "Identified by Chuck Harp, referee for Heliothinae at Moth Photographers Group. According to Chuck, this species seems to follow the Arkansas River from the eastern plains. To the north it hybridizes with Schinia masoni. If the two species should be lumped, S. volupia will remain the senior name."

So maybe I found a Schinia volupia? Stay tuned!
Update: I did find a Schinia volupia!

1 comment:

TexasDeb said...

Great shot Sheryl! That is one gorgeous moth. I love how the colors echo those of the flowers themselves.

I'm trying to track my winged visitors so I'll look forward to hearing which name applies. I've got Gaillardia pulchella flowers just opening up out back and I'll be on the lookout for this one.

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