New Genus and
Five New Species of Moths Discovered in Colorado
By Luis Pons
September 24, 2002
A new genus and five new species
of moths have been discovered by an Agricultural Research Service scientist
surveying the high-altitude valley around Telluride, Colo.
The yet-to-be-named discoveries were found by research entomologist Michael
Pogue, who works at the
Entomology Laboratory located within the National Museum of Natural History in
Pogue conducted the inventory over eight days during the summer of 2001 on
an invitation from Sustainable Ecosystems Institute (SEI), a Portland, Ore.,-based nonprofit
organization devoted to ecological issues. SEI spent 18 months studying the
effects of development on the ecology of Telluride, an area with a colorful
history and great natural diversity.
In all, Pogue collected 110 species of moths in the family Noctuidae and 29
species of butterflies, two of which had not been documented before in San
Miguel, Telluride's county.
He says that four of the specimens of moths he discovered were already in
the National Museum of Natural History's extensive insect collection, thanks to
a similar inventory of the area done in 1977. Unfortunately, those specimens
were not scientifically described at that time, and thus were not considered to
have been officially "discovered."
During the 2001 inventory, a fifth new species was collected.
New species names will become official when they are published in a
All of the collected specimens are housed in the insect collection of the
Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of
Natural History. The collection, which is one of the largest of its kind in the
world, was featured in the June 2002 issue of Agricultural Research
magazine. The article can be viewed online at:
ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.