Sunday, June 24, 2012

Joys of Country Living, Part III

(Continued)
Red-tailed Specter Moth
After storing the Osage Orange Sphinx moth in a ziplock bag, I looked over the collection of small nondescript moths scattered over the siding and furniture around the deck light.  A number of tan moths had no distinguishing markings but one white moth stood out.  Dramatic brown stripes on the white wings revealed thin red-orange lines under close scrutiny.

I searched long and hard through BOMONA images, finally giving up after the 16th page.  I shot it off to Dr. Chris Barnhart who sent the identification 5 minutes later (I can't explain his long delay).  "An old friend - Species Euerythra phasma - Red-tailed Specter Moth - Hodges#8141."

by Ron Votaw at Pteratory.com
The name Red-tailed Specter Moth was surprising until I spread its wings.  Sure enough, there were orange-red bands on the lower dorsal abdominal segments.  For such a distinctively colored moth, first described in 1876, there is surprisingly little information available.  I reviewed 90 Google hits without a hint of its life history or larval food plants.  This one will have to get by on its looks alone. 


Again in May, 2015

Check here for pictures of other members of the colorful Arctiidae family which includes the familiar Hairy Wooly Bear caterpillars.

This specimen was reported to BAMONA and confirmed, its first documentation in Christian County.
Continued in Part IV

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