New Moth Records

Several new moth records have come in. On July 19 Olivia DaRugna found a Clearwing Sphinx (Hemaris sp) at Ash Hollow State Historical Park. Two Hemaris species are found in the state, widespread H. diffinis (Snowberry Clearwing) and much rarer H. thysbe (Hummingbird Clearwing). After some deliberation it was decided that Olivia’s specimen was H. diffinis which had not yet been found in Garden County. Congratulations and thanks to Olivia for finding/reporting a new county record. The two can be easily separated with a side view which Olivia was skilled/fortunate enough to get. H. diffinis has a dark band running from the eye to the base of the legs which are dark. H. thysbe lacks the dark band and its legs are light colored. The other identification key is different wing veination which is difficult to distinguish in many photographs.

Hemaris diffinis, Ash Hollow State Historical Park, Garden County NE, 19 July 2023, Olivia DaRugna

On July 20 Steve Kruse photographed a Southern Purple Mint Moth (Pyrausta laticlavia) at Denton Prairie (Lancaster County) which appeared to be the first record for the state. Checking several other websites I found that Christian Jacobs had submitted a photo of one to BugGuide on July 9, 2021 from the Kearney area (it’s hard to keep up!!). Thanks to both of them for checking out smaller more obscure moths.

Southern Purple Mint Moth, Denton Prairie, Lancaster Co., NE, 20 July 2023, Steve Kruse

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