Here’s a cool blog post about Schinia masoni, the Colorado firemoth.
The post describes the ecology of the firemoth and it’s relationship with blanketflower, Gaillardia aristata. Blanketflower serves at the moths’ larval host plant and as a nectar resource for adult firemoths.
Blanketflower is a fire dependent species. The seeds of the plant wait in the soil until a fire burns through an area. Then they germinate in abundance – within a year after a fire, blanketflower becomes a dominant species in burned areas. When fires have been suppressed, as they are in many areas, and pine forests have grown unnaturally thick, blanketflowers become rare, and so in turn does the firemoth.
Check out the full blog post with lots more info on Bruce Byers Consulting’s research on this moth-flower relationship!
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Thank you for organizing National Moth Week, and for letting others know of my small contribution to the celebration of moths!