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Species Petrophila heppneri - Heppner's Petrophila - Hodges#4784.1

Hodges#4780 - Petrophila heppneri Hodges#4780 - Petrophila heppneri 4784.1 - Petrophila heppneri No. 340  Petrophila ?   - Petrophila heppneri No. 341  Petrophila heppneri or other? - Petrophila heppneri No. 341  Petrophila heppneri or other? - Petrophila heppneri Petrophila heppneri  - Petrophila heppneri Petrophila heppneri  - Petrophila heppneri
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Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Pyraloidea (Pyralid and Crambid Snout Moths)
Family Crambidae (Crambid Snout Moths)
Subfamily Acentropinae
Tribe Argyractini
Genus Petrophila
Species heppneri (Heppner's Petrophila - Hodges#4784.1)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Petrophila heppneri Blanchard & Knudson, 1983
Distinguished from other species of Petrophila in Texas and Oklahoma by the thin dark line over the submarginal eyespots on the HW. The postmedian area of the HW is speckled with black. The white medial line on the FW is notably zigzag as it approaches the costal margin. There is also a discal bar in the postmedian area of the FW consisting of two thin dark lines sandwiched around a thin orange line. The color patches on the FWs are yellow-orange, in contrast to those of Jalisco Petrophila which are various reddish hues.(1)
Very similar in pattern to Feather-edged Petrophila which also occurs in Texas but the ranges barely overlap if at all. Not easily separated from Hodges', Confusing, or Santa Fe Petrophila, but the ranges of these species don't overlap (see below).
Texas Hill Country endemic, documented in the following counties: Bandera, Blanco, Colorado, Edwards, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Real, Uvalde, and Val Verde (BugGuide, iNaturalist).(1) The Colorado County record (from Blanchard & Knudson 1983(2)) is well to the east of the Hill Country and may be in error.(1)
Typically found only a short distance from perennial Hill Country waterways; adults nectar on streamside flowers and are attracted to lights.
Heppner's Petrophila is the Texas/Oklahoma regional representative of the fulicalis-species group in the genus Petrophila.(1) This species group includes:
P. fulicalis of the eastern U.S., mainly E of the Mississippi River, north to the Great Lakes and New England, south to Virginia and Tennessee.
P. canadensis which overlaps broadly with Feather-edged but occurs further north into southeastern Canada.
P. santafealis, endemic to Florida; may occur in central Alabama.
P. hodgesi, described from northwest Arkansas, and probably found in the general Ozark ecoregion.
P. heppneri, described from central Texas, ranging from the Rio Grande to north Texas and east to Houston.
P. confusalis, from southern California north to Washington and Montana.
Separating any of the species *within* this group is a major challenge, thus range should be a primary consideration.(1)
Print References
Blanchard A. & E.C. Knudson. 1983. Two new species of Pyralidae (Lepidoptera) from Texas. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 85(1): 59-63.(2)
Sexton, C. W., 2021. Identification and Distribution of the Petrophila fulicalis species group (Crambidae): Taking Advantage of Citizen Science Data. J. Lep. Soc. 75(2):113-127.(1)