Saturday, March 20, 2010

A New Giant Silkworm Moth for Central Texas

Update: Charles Bordelon with TEXAS LEPIDOPTERA SURVEY has confirmed this as a new Central Texas Record.

Or at least no one has told me otherwise to date nor I can not find any reference to it being near the Edwards Plateau. It is one of the Giant Silkworm or Royal Moths, being in the same family as Imperial, Buckmoths and the Luna Moths etc. This animal is known as the Honey Locust Moth ( Sphingicampa Bicolor). The larvae feed on Honey Locust and the Kentucky Coffee Tree, neither of which I am aware grow in this region of Texas, for sure not the Coffee Tree. At the minimum it may be a new Travis County insect as it was found on the side of the little Webberville Grocery store in the far eastern edge of that county on March 19, 2010. Here are a couple of my photos. BrushFreeman/ SphingicampaBicolorHoneyLocust Moth#

The insect has beautiful salmon pink hind wings and is one of the smaller of the Silkworm Moths. Here also is another image of the moth from off the web. They are definitely not common, perhaps even quite rare this far west as it is considered an eastern insect.

Here also is an image pulled from the web of this gorgeous animal.

Since I have had no meaningful feed back, I will let the statements above stand until corrected at which time an addendum or correction will likely be in order.