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Small clearwing moth--Albuna sp? - Carmenta phoradendri

Small clearwing moth--Albuna sp? - Carmenta phoradendri
Williamson County, Texas, USA
September 16, 2008
Size: 10-15 mm
This small clearwing moth was nectaring on kidneywood flowers (Eysenhardtia texana) and from a distance I first mistook it for a small fly. However, with a closer look that fancy "fan" at the end of the abdomen, led me to think "clearwing" and in the image (but not through the camera) I could see the wings well enough to be sure.

In the Guide, it looks rather like _Albuna fraxini_ except that its antennae are all black--no yellow, dark legs, a prominent pale "collar" between head and thorax. An image in the Guide of _A. pyramidali_ has the black antennae, but lacks the prominent "collar" and the prominent abdominal rings.

Images of this individual: tag all
Small clearwing moth--Albuna sp? - Carmenta phoradendri Small clearwing moth--Albuna sp? - Carmenta phoradendri

Moved from Carmenta, per communication from Dr Taft.

Moved from Sesioidea to genus Carmenta.

Moth ID
I have examined the photos closely and located Williamson County, Texas on the map. Based upon what I have seen, I believe this moth is called the mistletoe borer- Carmenta phoradendri Engelhardt. The mistletoe is generally found on mesquite plants and the type location for the moth is San Antonio, Texas. The adults fly in August and September and the male have a broad anal tuft. Although locally common, these moths are not commonly found in museums collections as they are only found in southeastern Arizona, Mexico and south Texas.
If possible, I would like a more precise location description within Williamson County for my records. Thank you for submitting the photos.

Thank you for the ID!
We have abundant mistletoe, though we have few mesquites on the place: here mistletoe is found frequently on hackberry, bois d'arc (Maclura pomifera), and cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia). Kidneywood, the plant on which it was nectaring, blooms off and on through the summer and early fall if there's sufficient rain--it's a brush-land plant, more common south and west, and thus both drought-tolerant and rain-responsive. Here it grows in only two locations.

The exact location is just outside Florence (north end of the county, on TX 195...if you locate Georgetown (Wm. County) and Killeen (Bell Co.) Florence is about halfway between.