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Papaipema - Papaipema inquaesita

Papaipema - Papaipema inquaesita
Bailey Island, Cumberland County, Maine, USA
September 15, 2008
Size: 14 mm wing length
Need ID Help. Can't find one that really matches.

Moved from Borer Moths.

I feel pretty confident that it's Papaipema polymniae.

Papaipema polymniae
Thank you. Certainly the spots are right for this species. I can find no photos with such clear lines as this rather fresh one has.

Yeah, it's definitely a very fresh, superb looking specimen.

Papaipema polymniae
I also found this beautiful moth in southern NH (Londonderry). Just IDed an old pix. I found one common name referenced as cup plant borer. Polymnia (leaf cup)is a composite family plant which isn't listed for NH or ME in my botany books. It's a more midwestern plant. I would wonder about ID, but mine matches this photo exactly as well as MPG examples. Is it a stray or does it have another host food? Thanks. Deb Lievens

One thing to note with this genus, is that it can be terribly difficult - even impossible - to make a definite ID by photo. The variation among the species is so great as to render any photo ID without accompanying host plant data, to be essentially somewhat of a guess. Even though I included the qualifier "pretty confident" here on David's image and left it on the genus page, in truth, that is probably still too "certain" of a determination. I don't know that I could seriously rule out a not so typical variation of another species, such as arctivorens or even leucostigma.

Now, I had thought that Polymnia canadensis occurred across the US Northeast, but if your info is correct, then my original ID is likely incorrect and it may in fact be one of the other two species. Excellent job with researching the host plant data for the area.

Not NH or ME...
but listed as endangered in VT and CT.

See the Plants Profile for Polymnia canadensis

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