Pink Moth Discovered in Arizona

The new pink moth, Lithophane leeae, was found in the Chiracahua mountains east of Tucson, Arizona. Bruce Walsh, the University of Arizona

A new moth that is hardly dull has been discovered in the Chiricahua Mountains, east of Tucson, Arizona. The moth has pink wings.

University of Arizona biologist Bruce Walsh, who studies plant and animal breeding, was out in the mountains collecting moths, a hobby of his. Walsh captures them by illuminating a sheet with mercury vapor lamps. Moths are — you guessed it — attracted by the lights, and land on the sheet.

"This large moth flew in and we didn't think much of it because there is a silk moth very much like it, a Doris silk moth that feeds on pines that has dark wings with pink on the hind wings," Walsh explained. "It's fairly common there."

On closer inspection, though, the moth, a female, appeared to be a different species from a different family. Walsh said it currently is the only known individual. DNA testing confirmed it is a new species.

He named it Lithophane leeae after his wife, Lee, who likes the color pink.

The discovery is detailed in the journal Zoo Keys.

Live Science Staff
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