Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cisthene barnesii (Dyar, 1904)
Illicae unifascia var. barnesi Dyar, 1904
Illice flavula Barnes & McDunnough 1918
Phylogenetic sequence # 930191
Explanation of Names
Named in honor of entomologist Dr. William Barnes (1860-1930).
Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) included twenty species of the genus Cisthene
in North America north of Mexico.(1)
Similar to several other Cisthene lichen moths, particularly Thin-banded: wings slate gray with orange on thorax, basal streak on FWs, and variable PM band. Most importantly, the top of head (vertex) is gray (but collar and tegulae usually orange); basal streak narrow; PM orange band typically very narrow or broken into 2 or 3 spots or virtually absent. Fairly consistently (82% of examples), the outer (distal) margin of the PM band or its outline is slightly convex; this compares to a straight or slightly concave margin of that band in Thin-banded.
Widespread in the s. and cen. Rocky Mountain states from AZ and NM north through most of UT and CO, with scattered reports in ID, WY, and perhaps strays to the n. Great Plains in ND; ranges E to central Texas (Edwards Plateau). (3)
Although it has been described as a "Rocky Mountain species"(4)
, it is most commonly associated with mid-elevation foothills and pinyon-juniper (AZ-NM) or juniper-oak woodlands (TX).
The adults are most common from July to September.
Most similar to Thin-banded Lichen Moth (C. tenuifascia) but the vast majority of individuals will be distinguished by the gray vertex (top of head), where Thin-banded has an orange vertex. (The collar--separating the head from the thoracic disk--is usually orange in both species.)
Dyar, H.G. 1904. Descriptions of new forms of the genus Illice
Walker. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
, 6(1): 198
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America
. University of California Press. pl.46.23m, 46.24m, p.265 (2)
Sexton, C., and H. McGuinness. 2017. Identification of lichen moths in the genus Cisthene in the central and eastern U.S. South. Lep. News (39(4):309-322.