Thursday, February 25, 2010

Arkansas Moth: Horrid Zale (Zale horrida)

Horrid Zale Moth (Zale horrida)
(Photo:  Marvin Smith on 5/6/09)

Horrid Zale Moth
(Zale horrida)

Hodges: 8717

Range: Eastern North America

Habitat: Deciduous forests.

Season: May - July

Host Plant: Larvae feed on Nanyberry--Viburnum lentago, and other (?) Viburnums. (Note: According to most sources -- like the USDA -- we live south of the native range of Nannyberry. However, we have other Viburnum species -- at least one, maybe more. Jo and I have never been able to pin down a species ID.)

Remarks: "Horrid" seem an inappropriate name for this beautiful moth. However, in Latin "horridus" (adjectival horrida) means "standing on end, sticking out, rough shaggy, bristly, prickly". Bristling or rough is also given as an archaic meaning for horrid in English.

If you check John Himmelman's lateral view of a Horrid Zale, you will see it has a patch of bristling chocolate colored scales right behind its head and elsewhere on its body. These are probably the bristles that lead to German entomologist Jacob Hubner naming this moth Zale horrida.

Species information from BugGuide.



The Fuller Family said...

It's wings look like they're trimmed with lace--thanks for posting your picture of this elegant beastie! "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

KaHolly said...

What a beautiful moth! ~karen

Lisa at Greenbow said...

At this angle this moth looks splendid with its lacy looking edges.

AphotoAday said...

Yeah Marvin, that really is quite a beautiful moth... The fringe looks like a woman's petticoat sticking out under her dress... Such muted colors though -- guess she has to blend in but be fancy at the same time...

Andree said...

The lacy wing bottom is fantastic. What a great shot. Nothing like that here that I've ever seen, and that's a shame. (nannyberry??)

Anonymous said...

I love zales, they have such intricate markings. I'm surprised at how many moths we share in common, being so many miles apart. Wonderful photo Marvin :)

Ted C. MacRae said...

Love the info on the name.

Anonymous said...

The dress and lace image struck me as well - my first thought on seeing this was "Queen Victoria."

Lana Gramlich said...

The edge of that wing looks like the world's most delicate lace, ever. What a pretty moth! Great capture.

Kenn Kaufman said...

Hi Marvin, Great picture of this fine moth. When I was a kid I ran across this species in Holland's old Moth Book, and I immediately wanted to see it, mostly for the name! When I finally saw my first one several years later, it was in Maine, so I guess this critter has a pretty wide range. Thanks for sharing this image.