Winter pyraloidean? - Maine

Charles V Covell Jr. covell at
Wed Dec 29 16:16:21 EST 2010

Hi.  No, this handsome pyraloid was not considered for the _Field Guide
to Moths_, as was the case with _Noctua pronuba_.  People ask why I did
not include that species. The final book checklist was settled in about
1982.  That moth had not become widespread by then (I don't recall when
it was first discovered, but if it were in E. Canada then I did not know
about it!).

Happy New Year, everyone.  Cheers, Charlie

>>> Mike Quinn  12/29/10 2:16 PM >>>
Boy, for a relatively inactive list, there sure are a lot of lurkers

Mea culpa already! Remind me to never post an ID query here again.

This is all my fault because I posted the query, then figured out what
it was and updated the on-line image to reflect the correct ID. After
getting a number of replies, both on and off-list, I posted a thank you
note to the list saying that the bug had been ID'ed. My error here was
in not stating what the ID was (even though the updated link showed what
it was). This also caused confusion as some people thought, "why the
heck is he asking what it is when it's clearly correctly ID'ed?" Someone
else subscribed to the lepidopteran listserv even asked what a
pyraloidean was. There was also a question as to what the heck this
thing was doing flying around in the winter....

I apparently inadvertently caused mass confusion. 

The moth, not a butterfly, was photographed by a Texas friend in Maine
who isn't familiar with the local fauna. He sent me the photo, shot
indoors, thinking I would know what this strange "crescent" (nymphalid)
was. I only knew it was a member of the superfamily Pyraloidea so I
posted the photo to BugGuide and then sent a short (apparently too
short) query to Leps-L. In the mean time, as a shot in the dark, I did a
Google image search for "Pyraloidea," I believe, and much to my
surprise, before long I found several images of the beast posted to a
European website. 

I corrected BugGuide image, told my friend what it was and went to bed
thinking that all was well. Boy, was I ever wrong!

Again, please accept my apologies. I do want to thank David Wagner for
helpfully pointing out that this introduced species wasn't wide spread
at the time that Charlie Covell wrote his guide to moths of eastern
North America and that that's why it wasn't included therein.

Hopefully this note will induce a bit of clarity rather than more

Mike Quinn, Austin

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