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Dr. Chuck Sexton is a retired Wildlife Biologist. He formerly worked at the National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Chuck does research in Evolutionary Biology, Entomology and Ecology. His latest publication is "Identification and Distribution of the Petrophila fulicalis species group (Crambidae): Taking Advantage of Citizen Science Data", J. Lep. Soc. 75(2):113-127.
Larvae of the common Spotted Peppergrass Moth, Eustixia pupula (Crambidae), originally described over a century ago, are illustrated for the first time.
This article reports on a wildfire, exceptional Spring rains, and butterfly abundance in the Chisos Mountains in an "extraordinary year" in Big Bend National Park. S. Lepidopterists' News 43(4):335-342
Thirteen iNaturalists gathered for a bioblitz at the Maddin Prairie Preserve (Native Prairie Association of Texas) in Mitchell Co., Texas, on August 21-22, 2021. Over 200 species of moths were documented in two nights of blacklighting. Highlights of the effort are illustrated. S. Lepidopterists' News 43(4):349-350.
Insects are the most biodiverse multicellular organisms, with most of this diversity in the tropics. Butterflies follow the same pattern, with ~ 90% of species from the tropics. Anthropogenic stressors such as habitat loss and pollution are driving butterfly declines globally, with many rare tropical species likely extinct before discovery. Citizen...
Six very similar species of Petrophila Guilding are reviewed and distinguished: P. fulicalis (Clements 1860), P. confusalis (Walker, ), P. canadensis (Munroe, 1972), P. santafealis (Heppner, 1976), P. hodgesi (Munroe, 1972), and P. heppneri (Blanchard & Knudson, 1983). Large digital image sets derived from citizen science databases are used t...
A method for non-invasive photographic documentation and recognition of individual moths is demonstrated with an endemic Texas species, the Canyonlands Quaker, Tricholita baranca (Noctuidae). The advantages, limitations, and application of the methodology are discussed.
Discutimos los primeros ejemplos de unos nidos del Gorrión Indefinido Altiplanero Spizella wortheni en el estado de Nuevo León, Mexico. Presentamos información acerca de la ecología del sitio, la voz, unas otras ocurrencias mas recientes y el color de las piernas. Como resultado de observaciones recientes, se describe aquí un nuevo hábitat nidifica...
The identification and status of Petrophila jaliscalis and P. santafealis are reviewed and clarified. The two are distinct and disjunct species which had been conflated in recent online resources. P. jaliscalis occurs in the southwestern U.S. from Texas and Oklahoma to California. P. santafealis remains a poorly known Florida endemic. Selected reco...
The current A.O.U. checklist places the type locality of the Black-capped Vireo "on the Devil's River near Sonora, Sutton County, Texas." By examining maps of early survey routes and revisiting Samuel Woodhouse's personal diaries, we have established that Woodhouse collected the first Black-capped Vireo near the present settlement of Juno in northe...
A road-killed Mottled Owl (Ciccaba virgata) was photographed near Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park, Hidalgo County, Texas, in 1983 and the identification of the specimen was confirmed in 1986. Although much of the woodland vegetation of the lowlands of adjacent Mexico has been cleared, a resident population of Mottled Owls is known from the Sierra Pic...
Determine criteria for separating six closely related species of Petrophila from wing patterns, genitalia, and available barcoding data.