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Species Zale minerea - Colorful Zale - Hodges#8697

Colorful Zale - Zale minerea Colorful Zale  - Zale minerea unid. Zale moth - Zale minerea Zale - Zale minerea Moth Identification - Zale minerea Colorful Zale - Zale minerea Zale minerea? - Zale minerea Zale moth - Zale minerea
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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 Erebinae
Tribe Omopterini
Genus Zale
Species minerea (Colorful Zale - Hodges#8697)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Mahogany Similar-wing
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Zale minerea (Guenée, 1852)
Phaeocyma minerea (Guenée, 1852) (Smith's redescription)
* phylogenetic sequence #931032
Explanation of Names
MINEREA: probably from the Late Latin "minerale" (a mineral), from "minera" (a mine); perhaps a reference to the mixture of dark metallic-looking colors in the forewing, reminiscent of some minerals
wingspan 37-50 mm
Larvae to 40 mm (Crumb, 1956)
Adult: extremely variable in color and pattern - probably the most variable of all Zale species (see comments by Lynn Scott under Internet References below). Charles Covell describes it as "pattern variable; usually some yellow in median area, especially in males; many specimens have whitish tinting like the edusa form of Lunate Zale; note black patches at apex and middle of outer margin of forewing"
Hindwing PM line usually with distinct triangular "tooth" projecting into subterminal area about two-thirds distance from inner margin. (This needs further clarification, examples, or illustration; this mark seems to be present in many examples of lunata on BG.)
Canada to Florida and Texas. Uncommon in the north(1)
yards, parks, thickets, woodlands, forests(1)
adults fly from April to August(2) (April to June/July in the north)
larvae from May to October
larvae feed on leaves of primarily birch and willow, but also basswood, beech, hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), poplar, red maple, spruce, vine maple, white oak.
Life Cycle
one generation per year, with partial second generation in some areas
See Also
similar to Lunate Zale (Z. lunata) but usually more mottled and brightly marked than that species
Print References
Crumb, Samuel Ebb (1956) The larvae of the Phalaenidae U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Technical Bulletin no. 1135 p. 294 (view)
Internet References
live adult images of 9 specimens, showing range of color variation, plus description, food plants, and flight season (Lynn Scott, Ontario)
adult images (Larry Line, Maryland)
pinned adult image plus common name reference [Mahogany Similar-wing], description, distribution, habitat, biology, etc. (G.G. Anweiler, U. of Alberta)
pinned adult image (A.W. Thomas, Canadian Forest Service)
pinned adult image (John Snyder, Furman U., South Carolina)
pinned adult image (Dale Clark, Texas,
pinned adult image and other info (California Dept. of Food and Agriculture)
live larva image plus description, food plants, seasonality (David Wagner & Valerie Giles, Caterpillars of Eastern Forests; USGS)
US distribution map (Moths of North America; USGS)
common name reference [Colorful Zale] and larval food plants (Ohio State U.)
Works Cited
1.Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2011. Princeton University Press.
2.Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
Charles V. Covell, Jr. 2005.