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Species Arachnis zuni - Hodges#8150

checkered moth - Arachnis zuni - male checkered moth - Arachnis zuni - male Arachnis zuni - female Moth  - Arachnis zuni - male psychedelic moth - Arachnis zuni Arachnis zuni - male - female Arachnis zuni - male Moth - Arachnis zuni
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Erebidae
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger and Lichen Moths)
Tribe Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
Subtribe Spilosomina
Genus Arachnis
Species zuni (Arachnis zuni - Hodges#8150)
Hodges Number
8150
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Arachnis zuni Neumoegen, 1890
* phylogenetic sequence #930331
Size
Forewing length 2.3-2.5 cm (Powell & Opler, 2009).(1)
Identification
Larvae - black with bright red spiracles, hairs stiff and glistening black (McFarland, 1959).
Range
Eastern and southeastern Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas (Powell & Opler, 2009).(1)
Season
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).
Food
Larvae are polyphagous on at least four plant families. McFarland found them feeding on pigweed (Amaranthus, Amaranthaceae) and various roadside weeds and shrubs as well as Chinese elm (Siberian elm, Ulmaceae, according to Powell & Opler), and reared them on sweetclover (Melilotus officinalis, Fabaceae). Powell & Opler add goosefoot (Chenopodium, Chenopodiaceae).(1)
Life Cycle
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.
See Also
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.
Print References
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, pl.16, 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
Internet References
Moth Photographers Group - species page
Moths of Southeastern Arizona - large pinned photo from the Huachucuas
Works Cited
1.Moths of Western North America
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.
2.The Moth Book
W. J. Holland. 1922. Doubleday, Page & Company.