New moth species discovered in Oklahoma

Monday, November 29th 2004, 6:21 am
By: News On 6

CHICKASHA, Okla. (AP) _ A moth that is usually found scattered across Texas, Arizona and New Mexico has been found in Oklahoma.

A sighting of the Saturniidae Sphingicampa hubbardi in the Sooner State was confirmed by and documented by University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma student Rex Moore.

Moore, a senior biology and education major, said he's received a confirmation letter from Dr. John Nelson, a biology professor at Oral Roberts University who is considered an expert in the study of moths and butterflies.

The moths, which have gray wings with red at the base, were discovered by sophomore biology major Jim Whitehead who found them near his workplace in southwest Oklahoma City.

Whitehead brought them to Moore, who has collected approximately 2,900 moths in the past 18 months.

``All the kids in the college know that I collect moths, so I get tons of stuff brought in to me that they see,'' Moore said. ``Jim had brought this one from his workplace in Oklahoma City and gave it to me.''

This particular moth is considered to be in the silk moth family, said Moore. He said some moths are chrysalides, like locusts, with hard chrysalide cases.

This moth is closely related to the well known luna moth, ``which everyone is familiar with; it is the green moth that flies into our lights at night.''