Apantesis bolanderi (Stretch, 1872)
OR : Klamath Co.
Klamath Marsh NWR, Little Wocus Bay shoreline, 4520 ft
July 08, 2017, DNR Ross.
Specimen courtesy of OSAC
Photograph copyright: Dana Ross
The illustrated female specimen is assigned tentatively to this exceedingly rare tiger moth, otherwise known only from the illustrated type male collected at Mt. Shasta in northern California and described in 1872. This is a relatively small Apantesis (FW length estimated as 12 mm for males) with relatively long black forewings that have white markings reduced to longitudinal streaks on the costa and anal vein and transverse markings consisting of straight medial and postmedial lines and a zigzag subterminal line that ends prior to the anal vein. The male hindwing is described as "rose" in the original description, with black markings reduced to a few submarginal spots and mid- and anterior portions of the outer margin. The Oregon specimen has the medial and postmedial lines fused partially and its hindwing is orange red with more black than the type. While these features differ from the type, the females of some other Apantesis differ in similar respects with the appearances of their respective males.
The reduced white lines on the forewing are not found in other Apantesis species from the southern Oregon or California Cascades. In the latest revision of these moths Schmidt (2009) suggests that A. bolanderi is most likely to be confused with Apantesis williamsii and Apantesis blakei, found farther east in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. The most common species in its range are Apantesis ornata and Apantesis nevadensis, both of which have more white lines on the forewings and more heavily spotted hindwings than A. bolanderi.
The early stages of A. bolanderi are unknown.
The habitat of this moth is poorly known. The illustrated female was found in a sedge meadow at the edge of Klamath Marsh.
The only Pacific Northwest specimen was found at Klamath Marsh in Klamath County, Oregon.
As noted above, the only other specimen of this moth is from "Mt. Shasta" in the northern California Cascade Mountains.
The Oregon specimen was collected during the day on July 8. Many Apantesis females are diurnal, including some of species with nocturnal males. The extreme rarity of this moth in collections suggests that one or more features of its biology or behavior causes it to elude detection and capture. Possibilities include diurnal flight of both sexes, non-attraction to light, or seldom-collected habitat.