Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Arachnis zuni Neumoegen, 1890
* phylogenetic sequence #930331
Forewing length 2.3-2.5 cm (Powell & Opler, 2009).(1)
Larvae - black with bright red spiracles, hairs stiff and glistening black (McFarland, 1959).
Eastern and southeastern Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas (Powell & Opler, 2009).(1)
Adults fly May through August (Powell & Opler, 2009). Near Albuquerque, NM mature larvae were present in numbers from mid-September through early October (McFarland, 1959).
Larvae are polyphagous on at least four plant families. McFarland found them feeding on pigweed
, Amaranthaceae) and various roadside weeds and shrubs as well as Chinese elm (Siberian elm
, Ulmaceae, according to Powell & Opler), and reared them on sweetclover
, Fabaceae). Powell & Opler add goosefoot
McFarland observed that larvae in New Mexico climbed trees and shrubs in early October to overwinter. Larvae collected in mid-September were inactive until late April. As things warmed up larvae became active, spun cocoons, and pupated after a week in their cocoons. Adults eclosed late May, all between mid-afternoon and early evening.
Bruce Walsh on the four species of Arachnis present in southeastern Arizona
Arachnis picta - the most common.
Arachnis nedyma - a pale version of picta. While picta flies after the monsoons in the desert mountain ranges, nedyma is a rarer pre-monsoon flier in just a few of the ranges in SE Arizona and at elevation (over 6000 feet).
Arachnis aulaea - has a much darker (almost black) hindwing relative to picta. Flies just at the start of the monsoons, and typically a little lower in elevation (around 4000-6000 feet).
Arachnis zuni - truly spectacular, much larger (and more colorful) than picta. Rare, again a pre-monsoon flier at elevation.
Clarke, J. F. Gates 1941. The North American moths of the genus Arachnis
, with one new species. Proceedings USNM 92(3123):69-70
Holland, W. J. 1915. The moth book. Doubleday, Page & Company. p.124
, f.3 (2)
McFarland, N. 1959. Extreme abundance of Arachnis zuni
(Arctiidae) larvae near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Journal of The Lepidopterists' Society 13(4): 216-217
Neumoegen, B. 1890. New species of Arctians. Entomologica Americana 6(9): 173
Powell, J. A. & P. A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America, Pl.47.31m; p.270
Moths of Southeastern Arizona
- large pinned photo from the Huachucuas