Subject: Insect Identification
Location: Arizona (specifics in letter)
March 16, 2013 5:17 pm
I’ve taken photos of two different insects on hikes in Arizona which I have been unable to identify. Can you help? The red one landed on me at Red Mountain, northwest of Flagstaff, and the gold and black one was on a leaf in Sycamore Canyon, northwest of Cottonwood. I will appreciate any names and other insight you can provide me. Thanks.
Signature: Tyger Gilbert
Normally we really dislike getting more than one insect in an identification request, but in your case, it is totally appropriate and perfectly fine. Both of your moths are Lichen Moths in the tribe Lithosiini. The orange and black striped moth is an Arid Eudesmia, Eudesmia arida, and you may read more about it on BugGuide where the range is listed as “AZ-TX / Mex – BAMONA” and it states: “larvae feed on lichens growing on rocks, walls, or cliffs.” The red Lichen Moth does not have a common name, but we identified it as Lycomorpha fulgens on BugGuide where it states the range is: “southern California; Arizona.”