Moth Monday: The Unknown Moth

There are somewhere over 10,000 different species of moths in North America. Sometimes even the larger ones can go unidentified. Here’s one from Shoreline Park in Mountain View that has as yet resisted efforts at identification:

Moth perched on ceiling of men's room

If anyone recognizes it, please comment.

Unknown Species, genus, and family
Shoreline Park, Mountain View, 2008-05-07


It took a few years but the current (January, 2011) thinking is that this is in the genus Tetracis. Exact species still indeterminate.

5 Responses to “Moth Monday: The Unknown Moth”

  1. Antonio Says:

    That’s certainly an Elliottus Javae, of course.

    Some would confuse it with a Javae Continuatia, but that has not been released yet!

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist ;-))

  2. Antonio Says:

    Now, seriously, is it a

    Lepidoptera (Heterocera) : Geometroidea : Geometridae : Ennominae :
    Besma quercivoraria?

  3. Elliotte Rusty Harold Says:

    Good guess, but after a little more research I now think this is the very similar looking October Thorn, Hodges#6954 (Synaxis jubararia). According to BugGuide, the Oak Besma is found “across southern Canada (Newfoundland to British Columbia) and all of United States except California

  4. Jeffrey Caldwell Says:

    I believe this moth is Prochoerodes truxaliata (Geometridae), previously known as Synaxis truxiliata; some Synaxis are now known as Tetracis.

    The only known native hostplant (caterpillar food) for this moth is coyotebrush, Baccharis pilularis, I suppose a common plant in the vicinity of the park.

    During the time of year they are flying, look for adult moths hovering over coyotebrush at 1:00 a.m.!

    Another photograph here:

  5. Elliotte Rusty Harold Says:

    Interesting. If you’re right, the Moth Photographers Group doesn’t yet have a live image of this species.

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