Journal archives for October 2017

October 13, 2017

ID Guide 3 (concluded?): More field marks.

I continue to review all available imagery of Cisthene lichen moths as I try to whip this ID guide into shape for publication in a formal journal. I found one "new" field mark that seems to help separate two Cisthene which overlap in Central and South Texas: Thin-banded and Tamaulipan:
Along with the field marks noted previously (see Key), I notice that leg color seems to be diagnostic in Tamaulipan Lichen Moth:

The hind legs of Tamaulipan Lichen Moth (C. subrufa) are typically all pale yellow with just a touch of gray on the distal few tarsi. More importantly, the tibia of the middle legs often have yellow on them, either mostly yellow or characteristically with the middle 1/3 of the mid-tibia pale yellow and gray on each end. Some examples of this distinctive leg color pattern can be seen in these images:
In fact, this banding on the middle legs of Tamaulipan Lichen Moth is much more similar to that on One-banded Lichen Moth. See for example:
(Notice however that in One-banded, the basal orange streak is always connected to the PM band.)

The hind legs of Thin-banded Lichen Moth are variable, occasionally showing some yellow on the femor, tibia, or tarsi but only rarely seeming to be completely yellow like Tamaulipan. Importantly, yellow on the middle legs is confined to the base of the femur. I can find NO example of Thin-banded with any amount of pale yellow on the mid-tibia. Typical leg color in Thin-banded of Texas can be seen on these iNat and BG images:

Time--and more examples--will tell if this new leg color distinction holds up in larger samples. Thus far, it has helped re-identify at least a few Tamaulipan Lichen Moths outside of the LRGV of Texas such as:

Posted on October 13, 2017 04:44 AM by gcwarbler gcwarbler | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 20, 2017

Welcome to the Travis Audubon Blair Woods Nature Preserve Project!

With so much environmental education and family outdoor activity at Blair Woods, it's a natural that we should link up our observations with iNaturalist's powerful citizen science functions. At the prompting of volunteer educator Mary Kay Sexton, this project was launched in October 2017. A Mournful Sphinx caterpillar, photographed by Mary Kay on peppervine, became the first observation uploaded to the project.
As you make photographic or recorded observations at Blair Woods, they will be automatically aggregated into this project--no need to separately attach them. Be sure and "Join" this project to follow its progress and tell your fellow iNaturalists to join in on the fun!

Posted on October 20, 2017 06:41 PM by gcwarbler gcwarbler | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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