Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

Spotted Beet Webworm Moth, HYMENIA PERSPECTALIS

from the July 13, 2014 Newsletter issued from the Frio Canyon Nature Education Center in the valley of the Dry Frio River in northern Uvalde County, southwestern Texas, on the southern border of the Edwards Plateau, USA

A moth was found in the veranda of the Red Cabin in the valley, banging against the screen wire trying to get out. It was a small one (wingspan 20mm, 15/18ths inch), shown above.

With such bold markings, volunteer identifier Bea in Ontario wasn't long in pegging it as the Spotted Beet Webworm Moth, HYMENIA PERSPECTALIS, found from Maine to Florida, and Iowa to Texas. Its larvae feed on beets, chard, potatoes, amaranth, and various greenhouse plants.

Bea had the ID confirmed by experts at the ButterfliesandMoths.Org website, and when that happens a dot is placed on a map showing where the species has been identified. Often our IDs turn out to be at an extreme boundary of the species' distribution area. As of now, our spotting is the westernmost one represented at the ButterfliesandMoths.Org website, as you can see on the map down the page at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Hymenia-perspectalis.

It's gratifying when our sightings and IDs help fill in gaps in what's known about these species.