Three More Lepidoptera Records

Another state record and two more county records have been reported.

Let’s start with the state record. On September 12 Eric Strehlow found an interesting moth that was attracted to a mercury vapor light. It turned out to be Papaipema beeriana (a Blazing Star Borer). Its larvae bore into and feed in stalks of various Liatris species. According to the Moth Photographers Group website it is midwestern in distribution, the nearest records being in central Iowa. In the comments section of the species page it suggests that this species may be sensitive to habitat disturbance and populations might be vulnerable to extirpation. This is the second new Papaipema (stalk borer) moth species reported from northeastern Nebraska in the past several weeks (see previous post).

Papaipema beeriana, Cedar Co., NE, September 12 2023, Eric Strehlow

On the butterfly side of the Lepidoptera family, Jen Corman reports that the town of Bassett (Rock County) has been overrun with Purplish Coppers (Tharsalia helloides). I witnessed a similar population explosion like this once before, also in September, at Cedar Point Biological Station many years ago. So even this late in the year good finds are still possible.

Tharsalia helloides, Bassett, Rock Co., NE September 20, 2023, Jen Corman

Returning to moths, on September 26 Travis Hardy found a Five Spotted Hawk-Moth at Lake McConaughy in Keith County where it had not previously been recorded.

Manduca quinquemaculata, Lake McConaughy, Keith Co., NE, 26 September 2023, Travis Hardy

Thanks to Eric, Jen and Travis. The season is winding down, but good finds are still out there. Keep ’em coming!

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