Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Copablepharon fuscum



This species was discovered by Troubridge and Crabro in 1995 in coastal sand-dune habitats of Deception Pass in Washington State and the Saanich Peninsula near Victoria. The eggs are laid on Abronia latifolia. The caterpillars hatch in July and spend the hot daylight hours buried in the sand. They emerge from the sand at night, and, if disturbed by flashlight, they bury themselves at astonishing speed. If dug up, they do a very convincing job of feigning dead. The leaves of Abronia are thick and succulent, and the caterpillars make a hole in the surface of the leaf and push their heads right inside the leaf. The full-grown caterpillars bury themselves in the sand for the winter, and do not eat, for the Abronia dies right back. Even when fresh Abronia leaves appeared in April, I could not persuade caterpillars to eat them, but they eagerly turned their attention to the first flowers. In May, the caterpillar pupates in a fragile cocoon of sand particles stuck together. The pupa has an exarate haustellum - that is, it has a separate compartment for housing the tongue of the moth to come. The moths emerge in late June.

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