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Leopard Moth

Morpheis sp

Description:

This moth was about 1.5" long.

Habitat:

I found this moth at the base of the semi-active volcano, Rincon de la Vieja during the height of that areas rainy season. According to google earth the elevation in this area is approximately 575 meters.

Notes:

Sighted on a table cloth in a restaurant.

3 Species ID Suggestions

Megalopygidae Podalia
bayucca
bayucca 9 years ago
Carpenter and Leopard Moths
Cossidae, Zeuzerinae Carpenter and Leopard Moths
Leopard Moth
Morpheis pyracmon BOLD Systems: Taxonomy Browser


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24 Comments

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 8 years ago

Thanks bayucca, J, and Daniele. I wish I had some more photos. Sunset had already happened, it flew in onto our tablecloth, I took a shot, the flash went off and it flew away again....another fleeting but joyous encounter with nature.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 8 years ago

Good point, bayucca. I see what you mean about the straightish black line in these specimens in your links:
http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?see=I...
http://www.mbarnes.force9.co.uk/belizemo...

To me, the forewing band looks actually quite similar in this photo from your link: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?see=I...

I wasn't sure of the two lines on the back of the "head," as I could not find a Morpheis with those two lines turning so sharply to the side.

I am wondering if Morpheis pyracmon is a highly variable species, or a species complex which as of yet has not been identified.

Do you have any other photos of this guy, Larry, even if they are slightly blurry? I think a side view would provide us with much more information. Could you also forward this moth to the biologists at the University of Costa Rica?

Muchas gracias por tu comentario deliciosa, Larry. Me siento halagado. :-)

bayucca
bayucca 8 years ago

Good job, J! However, I also had Pyracmon into consideration some months ago. I "excluded" it because of the regularity of the black band on the forewing. In Pyracmon this black band is usually not as strong and sharply limited as in Larry's. I would still tend only to Morpheis sp., I apologize...
http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?searc...
http://www.mbarnes.force9.co.uk/belizemo...

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 8 years ago

Beautiful moth Larry! What an interesting story to read through. This moth picked up my attention as thumbnail in the feed as I can see a pretty face in it!

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 8 years ago

this one had been plaguing me for over a year. I thought this might have been one undiscovered or not studied species. Darn!

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 8 years ago

J, Usted eres un genio!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 8 years ago

After looking at many different pictures, I think I can conclude this is a member of the M. pyracmon species complex, which has a great amount of variation, and it is currently being researched as to whether they are new species. Here are more pictures:

http://lepidoptera.pro/taxonomy/16420


Morpheis pyracmon:
http://www.boldsystems.org/index.php/Tax...

Variation Morpheis pyracmonDHJ01:
http://www.boldsystems.org/index.php/Tax...

Variation Morpheis pyracmonDHJ02:
http://www.boldsystems.org/index.php/Tax...

Variation Morpheis pyracmonDHJ04:
http://www.boldsystems.org/index.php/Tax...

Variation Morpheis pyracmonDHJ06:
http://www.boldsystems.org/index.php/Tax...

Keep in mind the specimens on these websites are quite worn and it is difficult to make out the markings, so I am not 100%. Morpheis pyracmon was one of the only species which was frequently reported in Guanacaste, too. This would definitely be one to send to your biologist friend at the University of Costa Rica.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 8 years ago

I agree with bayucca on terms of Morpheis sp. I'll keep my eyes peeled for something closer!!

bayucca
bayucca 9 years ago

All of the specimens I have seen were open wing shot (pinned specimens), so with a moth with folded wings it is almost impossible to see any of the markings. If you look at the species in the link you see within the genus and species there is quite a great variability.

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

In your defense none of the examples look very similar

bayucca
bayucca 9 years ago

I told you that I will keep an eye on it. Actually I had directly in front of me, but I didn't notice it...

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

I have looked and looked as well to no avail. This is likely as close as we are going to get. How exciting! I think this might be one that we get to name together....

bayucca
bayucca 9 years ago

Vale amigo! I got it, or at least the family. But further ID is probably not possible. I would tend to Morpheis sp., but I am not sure!

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

having an I.D. for everyone is ideal for the world in general. However, I would love to have one for this one! I updated the sighting info. I found this near Rincon de la Vieja at approx. 575m of elevation during the height of the rainy season. I hope that helps.

bayucca
bayucca 9 years ago

I know you would love to have an ID for this one. I had it several times on my screen, however, unfortunately I have not yet any IDea. I'll keep an eye on it.

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

thanks lori, I looked but could not find it

lori.tas
lori.tas 9 years ago

Have you tried looking here: http://crbio.cr/portalCRBio/welcome.htm

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

tiger moth?

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

Acronicta?

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

any suggestions out there on this Costa Rican moth?

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

Matthew thanks for your comments. Any suggestion on a possible species for the sub-family and genus you presented?

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

Peter, they sure could be related. They are both Pacific slope moths. However, I would be quite surprised if the larvae were realted as that animal comes from another region.

peter
peter 9 years ago

Are they related? http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/742...

Notice the banding on the feet.

LarryGraziano
Spotted by
LarryGraziano

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Spotted on Sep 20, 2011
Submitted on Oct 18, 2011

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