Smallest Alien Discovery Now Has a Name

White-dotted Groundling Moth (Condica videns)

In cleaning up my computer every month I have always come across a lone photograph that I took back in 2016 at 3 Rivers Foundation during my field research. It has sat in my images folder as Unknown, October 2016 all by itself. 

I sought help from experts and used BugGuide. Nothing helped me identify this creature. The once in a lifetime rare capture taunted me. Like it was literally silently laughing at me. There were times when I looked closely at the image thinking I was dreaming of seeing something there. Maybe that was just a branch. But then I would notice that that supposed branch had legs. Maybe it was an alien. Seriously, I was doubting myself.

Thankful to report I’m not being laughed at anymore and this is not an alien! Two thumbs up! 

Last night the mystery of this unknown insect now has a name! White-dotted Groundling Moth (Condica videns). It was first given its name in 1852  by Achille Guenée, a French lawyer and entomologist.  

This alien looking larvae turns into a rather unremarkable moth that has single white small dots on its brown wings. The larvae feed on the blooms of various composite flowers like Solidago and Aster species. In my photo, this guy was on broomweed. 

Sadly, this has been my only observation of one in Foard County, Texas.

Thank you, thank you, Lynn, for finally being the one giving this unnamed creature its name.  Now, the photograph will no longer taunt at me anymore!