Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another new butterfly for Honduras

Hot on the heels of last week's first country record for Honduras of Megisto rubricata (Red Satyr) comes another first for Honduras: Autochton cincta, or Chisos Banded-Skipper. I photographed this individual today on Montaña de Isopo, at an elevation of 1630 m in oak forest with scattered open areas, about 15 km south of Tegucigalpa. The Annotated list of the Lepidoptera of Honduras (Miller et al. 2012) lists five Autochton skippers, but not this one (1). An email to its first author resulted in her confirmation of the identification.

This expands the known range for this species from West Texas (USA) south through Mexico and Guatemala to Honduras (previously thought to occur south to Guatemala and El Salvador only) (2).

Naturally, I submitted my photo to the Butterflies and Moths of North America site, for which I am now the reviewer for Honduras and El Salvador. It appears that the lepidopteran fauna of these countries is still not fully known, and that with a bit of luck, new country records can be found.

As the rainy season progresses here in Honduras, more and more species will be flying. I'll regularly report back on noteworthy butterflies here on the blog. There are of course older butterfly entries on this blog (to find them, simply click on the label "Butterflies" in the list of labels on the right), and I maintain a Butterflies of Central America Facebook page, which you can find - and hopefully like - if you type "Mariposas de Centroamérica" in the Facebook search bar.


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