Identifying Zale lunata vs. Zale minerea from photos

Zale lunata (Lunate Zale) and Zale minerea (Colorful Zale) both have variable – and overlapping – coloration and patterning. A key character for separating these two species is the shape of the postmedian (PM) line:

Looking at the overall shape of the PM line segment that’s perpendicular to the leading edge of the wing:

For further context/considerations around identifying these species, see this iNat journal post by paul_dennehy.

Images kindly provided by @becksnyc:
Zale lunata
Zale minerea


Zale lunata - Moths of North Carolina
Zale lunata - Pacific Northwest Moths
Zale minerea - Moths of North Carolina
Zale minerea - Pacific Northwest Moths

@mark935 @allen_barlow @stomlins701

Posted on April 07, 2023 09:26 AM by d_kluza d_kluza



Posted by mark935 about 1 year ago

@mark935 @allen_barlow @stomlins701 @pufferchung
FYI -- image issues resolved. The embedded photos are now visible.

Posted by d_kluza about 1 year ago

Thank you!

Posted by pufferchung about 1 year ago

This is an outstanding illustration of this key character. Many thanks!

Posted by allen_barlow about 1 year ago

@michael_lee_bierly I think you find this very interesting.

Posted by allen_barlow about 1 year ago

This is great, very helpful!

Posted by stomlins701 about 1 year ago

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