Wichita Mountains moth observations

My family spent another extended weekend camping, this time at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Oklahoma (Comanche County). This area is in the EPA Level III “Central Great Plains” ecoregion and the Level IV “Wichita Mountains” ecoregion. There has been pretty good rainfall over the last few months and the wildflowers were on peak display. It was really gorgeous.

I set up my moth lights and sheets on two nights, May 18 and May 20. The night of May 19 was cool and very windy, and it was not worth trying to anchor all of my things. We stayed in the Doris campground which is in oak forest. There are some grassy clearings nearby with milkweeds, Monarda, and other flowering plants. All said, I recorded 69 or more species of moths on May 18 and an additional 30 species of moths on May 20, for a total of 99 species of moths.

The most common moths were:

Ochre Parachma Moth (Parachma ochracealis)
American Dun-bar Moth (Cosmia calami)
Jaguar Flower Moth (Schinia jaguarina)
Confused Meganola Moth (Meganola miniscula)
Some as-yet-unidentified Litini – maybe Pseudotelphusa

Significant finds for me were:


Scarlet Underwing (Catocala coccinata)


Pelochrista argentialbana


Eucosma grindeliana


Long-horned Grass Tubeworm (Acrolophus mortipennella)


Georgia Archips (Archips georgiana)


Speckled Black Pyla (Pyla fusca) - really not sure about this ID.


Euchaetes zella


Charred Dagger (Acronicta brumosa)


Indigobush Twig Borer (Hystrichophora taleana)


Eastern White-blotched Prominent (Heterocampa pulverea)

It's quite possible that some of my observations are county records, but I don't think any of them are state records.

Here are my observations which I haven't been able to identify.

Non-moth observations

With all of the flowers in bloom there were a lot of butterflies out and about. The most common were: Common Buckeye, Black Swallowtail, Dainty Sulphur, Question Mark, and Hackberry Emperor.


I saw my lifer Oak Hairstreak, which I didn’t recognize on sight as being a new species for me.

I also saw a lifer bird, a Zone-tailed Hawk, which has been hanging around this area during breeding season for the last couple of years.
We saw a lot of Bison, Longhorn Cattle, Black-tailed Prairie Dogs, several Eastern Collared Lizards, a few Prairie Lizards, a coyote.

You can find all of my observations from the weekend here.

הועלה ב-מאי 25, 2023 04:09 לפנה"צ על ידי zdufran zdufran

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פורסם על-ידי zdufran לפני בערך 1 שנים

Way cool stuff, Zach!!! Looks like a wonderful time. :)
Oh! And if you find yourself in the Dallas/Fort Worth area sometime this summer, we've got quite a few black-lighting events:
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/sambiology/80251-events-and-gatherings-in-near-dfw-in-june-and-july

פורסם על-ידי sambiology לפני בערך 1 שנים

Nice report, Zach! That's an area of Oklahoma I'd like to get back to for some nature watching, including mothing. Looks like you got many interesting sightings.

פורסם על-ידי jcochran706 לפני בערך 1 שנים

@sambiology - I would love to join you sometime this summer. I'll see if I can make it happen.

@jcochran706 - anytime you decide to visit Oklahoma let me know. It would be nice to meet and do some exploring together.

פורסם על-ידי zdufran לפני בערך 1 שנים
פורסם על-ידי zdufran לפני בערך 1 שנים

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