Moths of the Amazon
Jade Scorpion moth
Family - PYRALIDAE
Incarcha argentilinea, Satipo, Peru ©
The multitude of bizarre postures adopted by neotropical moths never
fails to amaze me, and this species is surely amongst the weirdest.
When it first settles the moth holds its abdomen straight, but after
3 or 4 minutes it very gradually curves it into the scorpion-like
posture depicted above. The feathery antennae meanwhile are
retracted and laid flat along the moth's back, and the huge labial
palpi are swept back over the head. A moth with attitude !
Until recently the Crambidae and Pyralidae were grouped together as
Pyralidae, but the most recent revision by Munroe & Solis in 1999
classifies both as full families within the superfamily Pyraloidea.
The Pyralidae comprises of about 6,150 known species worldwide,
although the true number must be considerably higher, as these moths
are generally small and a high percentage of them are dull and
inconspicuous. The family is divided into 5 subfamilies, with the
Epipaschiinae containing about 600 species, all of which are
tropical. The taxonomy of the Pyralidae and Crambidae however are
both still in disarray and the current classification is certain to
change as more is learnt.
Incarcha contains just a single species
argentilinea, which is found in Ecuador
This species was attracted to a mercury vapour lamp, in a forest
glade, beside a stream in the eastern Andes of Peru.
To be completed.