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Like Coal to Newcastle, but - what moth? - Zale lafontainei

Like Coal to Newcastle, but - what moth? - Zale lafontainei
Sanibel Island, Lee County, Florida, USA
January 24, 2010
After that remarkable series of McIvor moths - this is my little offering from the men's restroom at the tip of Sanibel Island. My husband discovered it and helpfully stood guard whilst I grabbed the photo.

Moved from Zale.

The Zale viridans "species group" is a taxonomic mess that probably involves several species in Florida. This is one of them. Eventually the group will be revised, and then a more certain species-level ID can be reached.

Zale sp. nr. erilda
I've been in communication with Don Lafontaine. I've been advised that FL reports of Z. viridans, Z. obsita and Z. strigimacula refer to Z. sp. nr. erilda, a new undescribed species shown at BOLD as here as Zale n. sp. 5. It's a long story but Lafontaine & Schmidt have unravelled much of the mystery.

Edit: I have added further explanation on the Info page.

After all these years! Thank you :)

Thank you Paul :)
What a pleasant surprise this evening as I retire. Thanks so much.

Moved from ID Request.

Moth silhouette article link
This is a BugGuide article with black and white silhouettes of North American moth families. It won't get you to genus or species but it does narrow the search down, and with so many families of moths, that can be extremely helpful!

Thanks so much for that link, Abigail
It looks very useful !

nice chocolate colors!
Very handsome moth. I had a hunch this was a zale from the thumbnail because of the shape, the way it holds its wings - I'm not good at describing anything but lady beetles, but if you look at Z. lunata images you'll see that their perched-flat position is distinctive.

Ummmm . . Choclate . . . :0)
Thanks! Yes, he is delectable looking, isn't he?
Interesting that the shape steers you to the genus. Guess I need to do a little research on moth silhouettes.

there's a BugGuide article on it!
Look in the "Articles" section of the Forums, there's a great moth silhouette guide there. I've got Boss Over Shoulder so better not go looking for it myself just now...

take a look at
zale lunata

oh great it posted twice

Thank you, Eddie!
You nailed it. How the heck do you know where to start in pinning down an ID?

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