Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Cisthene tenuifascia Harvey, 1875
* phylogenetic sequence #930183
Explanation of Names
tenuifascia: from the Latin "tenuis" (thin) + "fascia" (a band); refers to the thin median band on the forewing, and is the origin of the common name Thin-banded Lichen Moth.
Identified by the combination of yellow/orange vertex, dark gray thoracic disk, narrow basal orange streaks which connect thinly or not at all to PM band, and a thin PM band which is sometimes irregular and sometimes broken into spots.
AZ-FL-NC-OK, strays further north. (2)
Apparently all AZ specimens belong to the subspecies schwarziorum
, "Schwarz's Lichen Moth", named by Dyar in 1899 but with a confusing taxonomic history.(3)
That subspecies was previously confused with C. subrufa
which occurs only in South Texas and eastern Mexico (see Remarks, below).
Larvae feed on lichens and algae, as do larvae of other members of this genus.
Adults have been found in large numbers sugaring on desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides
) and mule fat (Baccharis salicifolia
) in southern Arizona
The subspecies schwarziorum (Schwarz's Lichen Moth) is found in AZ and differs recognizably from the nominate subspecies found in TX and elsewhere. Schwarz's has a wider, complete PM band and the colors are often yellower than in nominate Thin-banded. The basal streaks generally stop short of the PM band. It more closely resembles the Tamaulipan Lichen Moth but can be differentiated by range and by having mostly gray legs (especially the mid-tibia).
- wide yellow-orange basal streak along inner margin of forewing merges broadly with PM band.
- slightly smaller, ground color suffused with brown scales, legs banded yellow and gray; south Texas only.
- gray top of head (vertex).
Covell Jr., C. V. 1984. A Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. p.60, pl.12, f.13 (2)
Harvey, L.F. 1875. On Texan Lepidoptera collected by Mr. Belfrage. Bulletin Buffalo Soc. Nat. Sci. 3: 4
Powell, J.A. & P.A. Opler 2009. Moths of Western North America. University of California Press. pl.46.19m, p.265 (1)
Sexton, C., and H. McGuinness. 2017. Identification of lichen moths in the genus Cisthene in the central and eastern U.S. Southern Lep. News (39(4):309-322.
Moths of Southeastern Arizona
- hot to separate Arizona's Cisthene