Compsilura concinnata: A Hidden Force Behind The Decline of North American Moths?

compsilura

A female Compsilura concinnata tachinid fly. By Tony T, from the Diptera.info forums A female Compsilura concinnata tachinid fly. By Tony T, from Diptera.info.

National Moth Week is coming up in less than a month, but experienced mothing enthusiasts are already deep into the summer season. The past few months have seen the steady emergence of the most charismatic family of moths in North America: the Saturniidae, the giant silk moths. American naturalists have admired the huge, colorful moths, and their equally large and ornamented larvae, before there was even an American nation to speak of.

But even their large size and fame have not saved them from the environmental assaults of the 20th century. The population declines observed for some saturniid species has been well-documented in regions like New England, where the cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), regal moth (Citheronia regalis), and imperial moth (Eacles imperialis) are now rare and/or extinct. In fact, evidence is suggesting…

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