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small moth - Cisthene tenuifascia

small moth - Cisthene tenuifascia
near Patagonia, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA
August 2, 2009

Images of this individual: tag all
small moth - Cisthene tenuifascia small moth - Cisthene tenuifascia


"Schwarz's Lichen Moth"
This appears to be the distinctive AZ subspecies C. tenuifascia ssp. schwarziorum. Most recently, I found a good field mark to separate "Schwarz's" from Tamaulipan Lichen Moth (C. subrufa): Tamaulipan consistently has yellow and gray banded middle legs, particularly the mid-tibia which is usually yellow in the middle 1/3 and gray on either end. In "Schwarz's" Lichen Moth, the middle tibia are all gray, same as in the nominate subspecies tenuifascia from Texas. (The middle legs seem not to be visible in either of the present images.)

Moved from Cisthene subrufa.

Further note on separating...
Separating subrufa from tenuifascia may be difficult outside of the expected range in south Texas. In particular, the present moth appears to be a male based on a narrow patch of pink sex scales visible on the rear margin of the FW at the base of the PM yellow band (see the right wing in the 1st image here). *Both* species share this characteristic. A putative subrufa in s.e. AZ would probably need to be barcoded or have genitalic examination for certainty.
And size matters: Subrufa is reported to be noticeably smaller (wingspan 13-16 mm) than tenuifascia (wingspan 16-20 mm). I continue to urge photographers to include a mm rule in any field photos, where possible.

May be Cisthene tenuifascia.
subrufa appears to be restricted to south Texas in our area. See comments here.

Based on Knowlton's 1967 revision of the genus, C. subrufa occurs in south Texas and Mexico and is unknown further west. His discussion of the confusion of earlier author's is very informative. The present moth appears to match (the expected) C. tenuifascia.

Thanks Maury
Moved from Moths.

looks like #8059 – Cisthene subrufa
looks like #8059 - Cisthene subrufa. Nice moth!

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