A Selection of Moths
Arizona's Sycamore Canyons

Water in the arid and semiarid regions of Arizona is often concentrated along narrow canyons draining from the high mountains. With a great variety of plants these riparian corridors support a great diversity of insects and especially moths. The greates abundance and diversity are to be found in spring, March to May, and again in late summer, July to September, after the summer rains. Lights at night attract a great many moths, but the most beneficial way to study moths is to find their larval stage on the host plant and to then rear them in captivity.

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Marine Blue

Splendid Royal Moth

Fantastic shades and patterns of charcoal, brick red and white. Very large night flyer in borderland canyons. More ...

Western Polyphemus

Polyphemus Moth

Big eyespots with blue eye shadow on the hind wings. Another smaller pair in forewings. Flies at night. Huge size. More ...

Calleta Silk Moth

Calleta Silk Moth

This dark-colored silk moth is smaller than the other giants. A whitish band bisects the wings. More ...

Oslar's Imperial Moth

Imperial Moth

Another huge moth; yellow mottled with brown. Rarely seen except at lights during the summer monsoons. More ...

Western Polyphemus

Baccharis Moth

During the day this night flyer sits perfectly still like a piece of sycamore bark. More ...

Florestan Sphinx

Florestan Sphinx

Large sphinx moth with strong, sleak body and pointed wings for rapid flight. Under wings almost uniform black. More ...

Mossy Sphinx Moth

Mossy Sphinx

Large moth with uniform fine pattern of gray and black. Uncommon in borderland canyons. More ...

Rustic Sphinx

Rustic Sphinx

Large sphinx moth with strong, sleak body and pointed wings for rapid flight. Pattern of dark, rusty brown on forewings. More ...

Southwestern Tent Caterpillar Moth

SW Tent Caterpillar

Moth is nocturnal and rarely seen. Larvae make conspicuous tents in willows and other trees. More ...

Diathraustia Snout Moth

Diathrausta Moth

There are thousands of species of small moths - this one is boldly marked. See them at electric lights. More ...

Speranza colata Moth

Speranza Moth

Small moth with fine horizontal bands of black and white. Mostly nocturnal. Perches motionless by day. More ...

Marine Blue

White Flannel Moth

Long fur-like scales and setae are snow white. Notice legs are white with narrow black bands. More ...

Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Grape Leaf Skeletonizer

Flies during day. Irridescent blue-black makes it look a lot like a wasp. Mating pairs can fly about. More ...


Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 22 September 2014
updated 6 Aug. 2016