Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Stamnodes fergusoni Matson & Wagner, 2020
Stamnodes n. sp.
Adults can be immediately separated from most Stamnodes by its orange ground color and pattern of lead-gray patches across the forewing and hindwing. North of Mexico, Stamnodes fergusoni may only be confused with Stamnodes deceptiva or Stamnodes fervefactaria, neither of these species occur in southwest Texas. Although superficially close (and sometimes confused in collections), S. fergusoni can be quickly distinguished from the other two species. Stamnodes fergusoni can be reliably determined by the bright, white reticulate pattern of the underside of the hindwing and costal area of the forewing. In the other two species, the reticulate pattern of fore- and hindwing is cream to dull orange in color. The frons of S. fergusoni is immediately diagnostic: the dorsal scarlet scales and ventral white scales are separated by a band of black scales. Stamnodes fergusoni also differs from S. deceptiva and S. fervefactaria by its slightly larger size, lighter orange ground color, brighter scarlet scales at forewing base, and mostly scarlet tegula.
Southwest Hill Country (Uvalde, Kinney, Edwards, and Val Verde counties); Franklin Mountains (Franklin County); and Guadalupe Mountains (Culberson County) of Texas (Knudson and Bordelon 2002, and this paper). Carrizozo Malpais lava flow (Lincoln County), New Mexico (where it is abdundant); also Gila National Forest (Catron County), New Mexico (https://southwesternmoths.com). Mule Mountains (Cochise County) of extreme southeastern Arizona. Range into Mexico remains unclarified; we have examined several collections from the north Coahuilan hill country near Ciudad Acuña.
Adults have a single late-summer generation that appears to be tied to the flowering time of its preferred host. The moth is locally common in New Mexico and southwestern Hill Country of Texas with peak adult activity in September and October. Adults fly earlier (first weeks of September) in New Mexico. Several worn individuals were taken in March (2002) from the Guadalupe Mountains, by Roy Kendall. Knudson and Bordelon (2002) believed this collection represented overwintering adults. Mature larvae pupate in leaf litter or over soil. Over most of the species’ range, the pupa is believed to overwinter and remain in diapause until the following fall.
The larvae are believed to be specialists on woody Salvia (Lamiaceae)
Matson, T.A. & D.L. Wagner, 2020. A new Stamnodes from the southwestern United States (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Larentiinae). ZooKeys, 923: 79-90; doi.org/10.3897