Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 BugGuide Gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

Lophocampa bicolor

Lophocampa bicolor
Big Bend National Park, Brewster County, Texas, USA
August 27, 2016
This moth was photographed at the amphitheater near the Chisos Basin campground in Big Bend National Park. This is the 2nd of two individuals photographed--distinguishable by details of FW pattern. Like the other individual, it matches no images of eleven regular U.S. Lophocampa species. It matches the only image of Lophocampa bicolor that I can find, a pinned specimen on the BOLD website. MPG has no images of bicolor. The species has been recorded at least 3 times (about every 20 to 25 yrs) in the Chisos Basin of Big Bend (fide Lepidopterist's Society database). If confirmed, this will be a new BG record and apparently the first image(s) of a living individual.

(Note: This moth was photographed at a blacklight under a special permit for the Big Bend Nature Fest. Blacklighting is otherwise prohibited in the park.)

Moved from Lophocampa.

Tentative ID. I think that if we find caryae does have this as it's range, we should reconsider.

After reviewing all the descriptions and links to which you refered, I've concluded that "Lophocampa bicolor", as such, is a poorly described and poorly documented species. It may be valid--and the biogeography argues for that--but the history of the species in literature and online is pretty sparse and ambiguous.

Lophocampa caryae?
I added the page for Lophocampa bicolor but I'm not sure if this is that species. It does not seem to match the description here. The BOLD image appears to be misidentified. It is in BIN cluster BOLD:AAB3918 which contains 74 specimens of L. caryae and only that one specimen of L. bicolor. Take a look at both and let us know what you think.

Bicolor vs. caryae
Steve, Certainly more work is needed on the Lophocampa’s in Texas. There are several important aspects to resolve here. Among them:

1. Walker’s original 1855 description. This very brief description is quite incomplete and would not be deemed sufficient by any modern standard. It would not distinguish L. bicolor from a number of the other species in the genus, perhaps with the exception that he mentions that the FWs have “indistinct hyaline spots”, a characteristic that stands out in my images of two individuals in Big Bend and at least one other Texas image*, contrasting with other Texas members of this genus and most (but not all) examples of L. caryae from the northeast. Is there a more recent and more complete description of L. bicolor anywhere in the literature?

2. Biogeography. It seems quite extraordinary that L. caryae would have a distribution splitting the main population in the NE U.S. by hundreds of miles from isolates in the mountains of West Texas and northern Mexico. It is, to say the least, an unexpected distributional pattern for a rather conspicuous moth.

3. *MPG record of L. caryae in W. Texas: Don Riley’s image of a Lophocampa in the Rio Grande Village campground of Big Bend clearly has several hyaline spots in the outer 1/3 of the FW. IF that turns out to be a useful character to distinguish bicolor, then I would question the placement of Don’s image under caryae without other confirmation.

4. Lepidopterist’s Society Database: This seasonal database lists one bicolor from Big Bend, along with a scattering of purported L. caryae also. I’d like to quiz Ed and Charles on how they are separating these taxa.

5. BOLD:AAB3918: The single specimen identified as L. bicolor among the 75 members is not nestled within the array of L. caryae, but appears to be at least slightly distinct from that series of caryae specimens, as I read the graph on that page. That outlier bicolor is likely to be the specimen from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, a region closely allied biogeographically with the fauna of West Texas.

6. BOLD: I am in the camp which thinks BOLD is a useful first tool, but no matter how conservative the particular (COI) locus is, it cannot substitute for the full genome of any taxon or serve as a complete characterization of the genetic similarities or differences among taxa. (This is not an appropriate venue for a detailed discussion here. I need to school myself more on this tool and this debate.)

I'm OK with leaving this image under the genus for the time being until at least some of the above issues can be resolved.

OK. I have no issue with moving it to L. bicolor. Yesterday was tough for me. Too many distractions and I didn’t do a great job researching. Not that did much better this morning.

1. "Walker’s original 1855 description…” - I pretty much agree. I thought the hyaline spots were distinct on your examples as opposed to indistinct but that’s probably a bad interpretation on my part. The head and antennae don’t look white but again, I may be misunderstanding. There is a much better description, Hampson 1901, here, illustration, fig. 4, here. FUNET cites this reference here with a note saying "Misidentified/misapplied”. I don’t know why. The illustration does not exactly match the description but there is a lot of variation within species in the this genus in general. I couldn't find any other descriptions.

2. “Biogeography…” - I agree. I saw yesterday how odd the range was and can’t explain why I wasn’t more skeptical. There is also a record at BOLD from Colorado, sample BEVI1467.

3. "MPG record of L. caryae in W. Texas...” - I question it too and placed a comment there.

4. "Lepidopterist’s Society Database...” - me too.

5. “BOLD:AAB3918…” - I almost alway look at the tree but missed it this time. We are talking about sample BEVI0079 and it is from Nuevo Leon. I did, however, check it’s relationship using the Identification tool at BOLD and it showed the closest match at 99.32 similarity with 3/4 of the BIN at 99% or better. When I saw that, I didn’t bother with the graph. Outside the BIN, mixta is closest followed by propinqua. But now that I look at it again, I take back my assumption that this sample was misidentified. According to the data, the identification was made by Benoit Vincent who I see is an expert on this genus.

6. "BOLD…" - I’m not sure anyone would disagree with you on this. That’s why I couch my comments with words like “seems” and “appears”. There are examples in Lepidoptera where specimens in different species have similar to identical barcodes. It’s not implausible for an entire group to select for that one part of the mitochondrial DNA being barcoded. Also, it ignores the father’s contribution as well as contributions due to lateral gene transfer. I was only saying I couldn’t tell using BOLD as evidence. I'm at the bottom of the learning curve with this as well.

The software did not understand
what you entered as a date, so it defaulted

Not sure what I had typed... corrected.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.