Copablepharon fuscum Troubridge & Crabo, 1996

93-3287

Sand-verbena Moth

The type locality of Copablepharon fuscum Troubridge and Crabo is Deception Pass State Park, Island County, Washington.

Copablepharon fuscum is listed as ENDANGERED for British Columbia by the Committes on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). It is being evaluated for listing under the Endangered Species Act in Washington. Although still under study, the main danger to its existence appears to be habitat loss by development, dune stabilization, and crowding-out of its foodplant by invasive plant species.

Habitat

This species is known from coastal sand dunes with its foodplant, yellow sand verbena (Abronia latifolia).  It can be locally common in this very restricted habitat.  Invasive plants such as exotic European beach grass may be a serious threat to this moth and its larval foodplants.

Distribution

Pacific Northwest

This species has a restricted range near the Salish Sea in southwestern British Columbia and northwestern Washington. It is known from Island, San Juan, and Clallam Counties in Washington. A single occurrence of C. fuscum on the west coast of Vancouver Island was documented in 2011. This species is under consideration for protection in Canada and the United States.

Global

This species is a Pacific Northwest endemic.

Life History

Larvae

This species is a burrowing cutworm that burrows through sand and feeds on yellow sand verbena (Abronia latifolia) in the Nyctaginaceae.  Larvae probably emerge from the sand at night to feed on the hostplant.

Adults

The adults appear to be single-brooded with a flight season that extends from early May through June. They nectar on Abronia latifolia. It is attracted to lights.

Economic Importance

None.

Literature

Lafontaine, Crabo, & Fauske (2004)

Moth Photographers Group