Texas Lep Information

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Mexican Blue-tailed Fly

Pseudosphex leovazquezae (Perez & Sanchez, 1986)

Tiger Moth Family Arctiidae

Third U.S. Record

Pseudosphex leovazquezae (Perez & Sanchez, 1986)
Visitor Center Gardens

World Birding Center | Bentsen-RGV State Park
Mission, Hidalgo County, TX
November 26, 2004 (Phil Kelly & Jim Hengeveld)


Donahue (1993) examined approximately 100 specimens from 
the following MEXICO states (arranged north to south) and months: 

Nuevo Leon (July), 
Tamaulipas (June, July); 
San Luis Potosi (March, May-August, October, November); 
Veracruz (June, August); 
Oaxaca (July, September, November); 
Chiapas (May); and 
Quintana Roo (June-December).

Donahue (1993) reported, for the first time, a record south of Mexico. He examined a single specimen from GUATEMALA, collected 14-18 July 1991, by Peter Hubbell.

Collecting Methods: Frequently is taken at lights in eastern Mexico.

Type Locality: Mexico: Veracruz: Cerro

First U.S. Records

TEXAS: Hidalgo Co., Santa Ana Refuge, 13 November 1971 (1 female); 
TEXAS: Hidalgo Co., Santa Ana Refuge, 23 September 1973 (1 male); 
        both specimens collected by A. & M. E. Blanchard and deposited in the USNM.


"This recently described species is remarkably similar in appearance to over a score of wasp-like Neotropical species in several diverse genera. Species of Pseudosphex may be readily distinguished from similar-appearing genera by having a large, fully developed hind-wing discal cell with only three posterior veins (vein M2 absent)." (Donahue 1993)  

E. C. Knudson discovered one third of the records reported here. His initial inquiry about the identity of what was then an undescribed species of Pseudosphex launched Donahue's project to catalog and study the Neotropical Ctenuchinae. (Donahue 1993)  

Material Examined from the following Museums and Collections:

CMNM (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, J. E. Rawlins); 
CNC (Canadian National Collection, Agriculture Canada, J. D. Lafontaine); 
LACM (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County); 
R. B. Nagle;
E. C. Knudson, (now: TLS - Texas Lepidoptera Survey, E. C. Knudson & C. Bordelon);
USNM (U.S. National Museum of Natural History, D. C. Ferguson & R. W. Hodges)


Donahue, J.P. 1993. Six species of tiger moths (Arctiidae: Lithosiinae, Ctenuchinae) new to the United States fauna, with notes on their nomenclature and distribution in Middle America. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 47(3): 199-210, 6 figs. 

Franclemont, J.G. 1983. Arctiidae, Pp. 114-119. In: Hodges, R. W. et al. (eds.), Check list of the Lepidoptera of America north of Mexico. E. W. Classey Ltd. & Wedge Entomological Research Foundation, London.

Knudson, E. & C. Bordelon. 2004. Illustrated Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, TX. Vol. 2B : Macro-Moths. Texas Lepidoptera Survey, Houston. xiv + 59 pp. 20 plates.

Perez Ruiz, H. & R. Sanchez Sarabia. 1986. Entomofauna de la region de Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz III. Descripcion y algunas notas sobre la ecologia de una nueva especie del genero Abrochia H.-Schaff. (Lepidoptera, Ctenuchidae). An. Inst. Biol. Univ. Nac. Auton. de Mex. 56, Ser. Zool. (l):233-240.

Watson, A., D.S. Fletcher & I.W.B. Nye. 1980. In: I.W.B. Nye. (ed.), The generic names of moths of the world. Vol. 2. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London, xiv + 228 pp. 

21 Apr 2007   Mike Quinn / mike.quinn@tpwd.state.tx.us / Texas Entomology / Texas Lep Information