Journal archives for May 2018

May 05, 2018

Moth families

Just a quick collection of moth families I've photographed to date and the families I've yet to find. Families denoted with an asterisk* are ones which I couldn't find Arizona records for. 42/79 North American moth families photographed (42/60 for AZ)

Family Adelidae - Fairy Moths
Family Heliozelidae - Shield Bearer Moths
*Family Incurvariidae - Leafcutter Moths
Family Prodoxidae - Yucca Moths

*Family Tridentaformidae
Family Alucitidae - Many-plume Moths

Family Bombycidae - Silkworm Moths

Family Sphingidae - Sphinx Moths

Family Saturniidae - Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths

Family Choreutidae - Metalmark Moths
Family Carposinidae - Fruitworm Moths
Family Copromorphidae - Tropical Fruitworm Moths
Family Cossidae - Carpenter and Leopard Moths

Family Doidae
Family Drepanidae - Hooktip and False Owlet Moths
*Family Epermeniidae - Fringe-tufted Moths
*Family Eriocraniidae - Eriocraniid Moths
*Family Galacticidae
Family Autostichidae

Family Batrachedridae

Family Blastobasidae - Scavenger Moths

Family Coleophoridae - Casebearer Moths

Family Cosmopterigidae - Cosmet Moths

Family Depressariidae

Family Elachistidae - Grass Miner Moths
Family Gelechiidae - Twirler Moths

*Family Lecithoceridae
Family Momphidae - Momphid Moths

Family Oecophoridae - Concealer Moths

*Family Pterolonchidae
Family Scythrididae - Flower Moths

*Family Stathmopodidae
*Family Douglasiidae - Douglas Moths
Family Geometridae - Geometrid Moths

Family Uraniidae - Swallowtail Moths
Family Bucculatricidae - Ribbed Cocoon-maker Moths

Family Gracillariidae - Leaf Blotch Miner Moths

Family Hepialidae - Ghost Moths
*Family Hyblaeidae - Teak Moths
Family Lasiocampidae - Tent Caterpillar and Lappet Moths

*Family Micropterigidae - Mandibulate Archaic Moths
Family Mimallonidae - Sack-bearer Moths
*Family Acanthopteroctetidae
*Family Opostegidae
Family Nepticulidae

Family Erebidae

Family Euteliidae

Family Noctuidae - Owlet Moths

Family Nolidae - Nolid Moths

Family Notodontidae - Prominent Moths

Family Pterophoridae - Plume Moths

Family Crambidae - Crambid Snout Moths

Family Pyralidae - Pyralid Moths

*Family Schreckensteiniidae - Bristle-legged Moths
Family Sesiidae - Clearwing Moths
Family Thyrididae - Window-winged Moths
Family Dryadaulidae - Dancing Moths

*Family Meessiidae
Family Psychidae - Bagworm Moths
Family Tineidae - Clothes Moths

Family Tischeriidae - Trumpet Leafminer Moths

Family Tortricidae - Tortricid Moths

*Family Urodidae - False Burnet Moths
Family Argyresthiidae - Shiny Head-Standing Moths
Family Attevidae - Tropical Ermine Moths

Family Bedelliidae

Family Glyphipterigidae - Sedge and False Diamondback Moths

Family Heliodinidae - Sun Moths

*Family Lyonetiidae - Lyonet Moths
Family Plutellidae - Diamondback Moths

Family Praydidae - False Ermine Moths
Family Yponomeutidae - Ermine Moths
Family Ypsolophidae

Family Dalceridae

*Family Epipyropidae - Planthopper Parasites
*Family Lacturidae - Tropical Burnet Moths
Family Limacodidae - Slug Caterpillar Moths

Family Megalopygidae - Flannel Moths

Family Zygaenidae - Leaf Skeletonizer Moths

Posted on May 05, 2018 01:47 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 26, 2018

Psyllid Digest 2018

2017 was a record-breaking year for North American psyllid photography, with many species documented for the first time and with unprecedented levels of enthusiasm and participation especially in the iNat community. And somehow, not even halfway in to the new year, 2018 looks to be even better, with nearly 500 observations of nearly 70 species from over 100 iNat contributors so far. At least 15 species have been photographed this year for the first time ever, with @alex_bairstow leading the charge so far. This post is to put in one place all of the year's most interesting finds, and I am sure there will be more to come!

Acizzia hakeae


© Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
Acizzia is an Australasian genus with just a handful of species introduced into North America. Alex found this psyllid in San Luis Obispo County, CA, on ornamental Hakea, making this the fifth (and final?) known Acizzia to be photographed in the country, and the first of an ongoing streak of exciting new finds he'd go on to make this year.

Craspedolepta minutissima


© Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
Craspedolepta is a challenging genus of Asteraceae-feeders, with many species having preferences for Solidago or Artemisia. The second-largest genus in the country and with high levels of diversity from coast to coast, even the most distinctive species often don't make it past genus. But this is one of the exceptions, found on Artemisia californica in San Luis Obispo County, CA and photographed here for the first time.

Craspedolepta sp. #1


© K Schneider, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
"How is it that the previous, rather indistinct-looking Craspedolepta can be identified to species but this one isn't?", you may be thinking. I don't have that answer, but I am hopeful that I'll be able to put a name to this one eventually. Until then, I'm just going to sit back and appreciate this rather attractive psyllid photographed for the first time ever by @kschnei in Colusa County, CA.

Craspedolepta gutierreziae


© Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
Another new Craspedolepta, this one being the only known species associated with snakeweed, Gutierrezia sarothrae. Perhaps not as flashy as some other members of the genus, but sometimes being flashy just doesn't pay.

Craspedolepta sp. #2


© Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
Yet another new Craspedolepta! What is it? I don't know, but it's unlike any that has been photographed before.

Neophyllura pruinosa


© Alice Abela, all rights reserved
@alice_abela , the MVP of cool psyllid finds in 2016, found these unique Manzanita psyllids earlier this month in San Luis Obispo County, CA. The genus Neophyllura is endemic to the nearctic region, represented by 5 manzanita psyllids and 2 madrone psyllids. With the addition of this species, 4 of the 7 species have now been photographed.

Freysuila dugesii


Jesse Rorabaugh, no rights reserved (CC0)
Freysuila is a tiny genus represented by three species (2 in North America), and they have remained fairly elusive until recently. @glmory found these guys on ornamental Caesalpinia mexicana in Scottsdale, AZ, earlier this month, representing the first time these have been photographed live and publicly posted anywhere (I received photos of these 3 years ago in private correspondence, but those photos never became public online). I ended up photographing this species no more than 2 weeks after Jesse did, on ornamental Caesalpinia pumila near Tucson... had I been checking this plant just a little sooner perhaps I'd be the one with the credit for this finding, but alas :) His photos are way better than mine anyway, so it's all for the best.

Freysuila phorodendri


© Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
The other North American Freysuila is associated with mistletoe in the southwestern US, and its presence has been documented before, although never alive: last year @bbunny found nymph exuviae on mistletoe that belonged to this species. This nymph represents the first live images of this species, though the hunt for an adult still continues.

Calophya oweni


© Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
Speaking of mistletoe psyllids, I had previously believed that we had two species in North America that were associated with this host. But several decades ago, Tuthill described a third species, Calophya oweni, from Juniper Mistletoe. The unusual part was that all other Calophya spp. fed on plants in the Anacardiaceae, with our native North American species almost entirely on Rhus and the South American species mostly on Schinus. Subsequent publications acknowledged the mistletoe association but suggested instead that it was coincidental, and that mistletoe couldn't possible be the true host.
Well, with Alex's finding of several of these on Juniper Mistletoe, we can finally put those theories to rest and confidently welcome this third species (in just as many families) to the mistletoe-psyllid club. Globally, many different species in unrelated families and genera have developed associations with mistletoe many times over, for whatever reason. Freysuila phorodendri, for example, originates from a lineage of Fabaceae-feeding psyllids, so such an evolution is certainly not unheard-of.

Aphalaroida californica


© Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
Aphalaroida is a small southwestern genus of Mimosoid legume feeders, with many of the species associated with mesquite and related plants. 8 of the 9 described species are known from the US, and with Alex's contribution of this species found in San Bernardino county, CA, six of those species have now been photographed. One remaining species can be found in California and Arizona on mesquite, while the other is known only from southern Texas on Vachellia rigidula.

Heteropsylla sp.


© Chris Mallory, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
Speaking of psyllids on Vachellia rigidula in Southern Texas, there are these. By far the most common psyllid I encountered in my time in Texas last month, adults and nymphs were prolific on that host and adults seemed to be present on many other related Fabaceae, though it's difficult to say just how many species are involved in the area. Unlike the distinctive and easily identified Heteropsylla texana, the other members of this genus - and there are many - represent a confusing complex of nearly identical species. I'll work them out eventually..

Bactericera dorsalis


© Chris Mallory, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC) (left: male; right: female)
I swept a single one of these near the Devil's River in southern Texas last month, and at first glance I thought it to be the ubiquitous Bactericera cockerelli. Closer inspection revealed that it was, in fact, something else entirely: Bactericera cockerelli's closest relative. After coming back home to Arizona, I found even more of these, all on Lycium, often with both Bactericera spp. present on the same plants.

Livia caricis


© Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
Livia are gall-forming psyllids on sedges and rushes in riparian habitats, and most observations tend to come from the eastern US where they are certainly most diverse. But a few species are found on the west coast as well, and this observation - just the second of this genus from California and the first in seven years - represents the first living photo of this species.

Cacopsylla nr. maculata


© Cedric Lee, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
This psyllid found by @cedric_lee on Cercocarpus ledifolius in California appears to resemble Cacopsylla maculata, originally described from Cercocarpus in Colorado. In 1920 the species was reported from California, but a few decades later this record was dismissed as being probably misidentified since the California material lacked the maculated wings of the Colorado specimens. But that doesn't seem to be the case here... could this be the first authentic record of C. maculata in California? I know of no other species with the wings marked in this way, but more photos will probably be necessary before drawing any conclusions.

Psyllidae gen. sp.


© Alice Abela, all rights reserved
On the subject of Cercocarpus psyllids is this interesting find from Alice Abela from Sequoia National Forest. Strangely, though, it doesn't appear to resemble any known Cercocarpus psyllids and instead looks like it may be closer allied to Purshia-feeding species, despite Purshia not being reported from nearby. For now, the identity of this species remains a mystery.

Nyctiphalerus vermiculosus


© Cedric Lee, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
Should Nyctiphalerus beameri ever be raised from synonomy from N. vermiculosus, these will represent the first photos of that species. But assuming that doesn't happen, Cedric's images represent just the second time this Ceanothus-feeding species has been photographed, and the first in nearly 12 years!

Triozidae gen. sp.


© Chris Mallory, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
I didn't expect to find psyllids on Arizona Rosewood (Vauquelinia californica) - no species is known to be associated with that host - but with adults and nymphs both very prolific on the plant, the association is definite. It somewhat resembles a Neotriozella sp., a genus for which not a single one of its members has a definite host association, and if that's what it is then it may shed some light on the potential host plants for the other members of the genus. But for the time being, all adults I've found have been very teneral and it's still too early to make any calls regarding the species' identity.

To date @alex_bairstow has a strong lead in species count with 32 species so far this year, followed by myself with 22 and @silversea_starsong with 17 (these totals don't include unidentified species); the record for most species photographed in a single year belongs to myself with 38 species in 2017, a record which may not stand much longer. Last year saw 659 total observations of 74 species from 149 contributors; this year we already have 478 total observations of 65 species from 126 contributors. What's next for this year? I'm excited to find out.
Posted on May 26, 2018 17:07 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 8 comments | Leave a comment