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Photo#688868
Mormon Metalmark? Apodemia sp. - Apodemia mejicanus

Mormon Metalmark? Apodemia sp. - Apodemia mejicanus
Emory Pass, Black Range, Sierra County, New Mexico, USA
July 31, 2011
These were found on the trail on the north side of Emory Pass in the Black Range, on the Sierra/Grant County line. I believe they are Apodemia, but I'm not sure which species.

Images of this individual: tag all
Mormon Metalmark? Apodemia sp. - Apodemia mejicanus Mormon Metalmark? Apodemia sp. - Apodemia mejicanus

Most authors split what was traditionally called "mormo"
into two or more species now, but in our region the more orange ones are called A. mejicana, at least for the time being. The ones with more over-all blackish upper hind wings are still called A. mormo, but I'm fairly sure those would only be found in the far northern part of New Mexico.

A. mexicana is pretty much identical to, and probably the same species as populations found further west in California, which were traditionally called Apodemia [mormo subspecies] virgulti, and ventually ours could be "officially" combined with A. virgulti as one species. A. virgulti and A. mormo as found in California are rather mixed up with one another, as well as split up, and bear a confusing array of multiple new names.

On the flip side, some people still just call the whole mess by one name - "Apodemia mormo". The sources that we currently follow on BugGuide don't.

Too bad we can't ask the butterflies what they think about it.

Anyway, I expect the name game isn't over for these Metalmark Butterflies yet, and our populations may not stay "mejicana. For now though, that's what ours are called.

Moved from Mormon Metalmark.

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