Abronia latifolia

A thank you to Dave Ingram for sharing today’s image to conclude the series on “Biodiversity of the Pacific Northwest”. Dave contributed it via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool (original image). To see more of Dave’s photography and natural history writings (with a particular emphasis on the Pacific Northwest), visit his web site at Dave Ingram’s Natural History Blog.

Yellow sand-verbena is restricted to the coastal areas of British Columbia to California. Roughly twenty species of Abronia are recognized, all from the USA and adjacent Canada and Mexico. Abronia latifolia is one of two species occurring in Canada, the other being Abronia umbellata (of the latter species, some subspecies are of conservation concern).

A moth species that depends on Abronia latifolia, Copablepharon fuscum (or sand-verbena moth) is being petitioned for inclusion under the US Endangered Species Act (it is already considered endangered in Canada). Copablepharon fuscum is monophagous throughout its entire life cycle, i.e., it only eats Abronia latifolia at all stages of its life. Declining populations of Abronia latifolia due to invasive species, land development and recreational use need to be addressed if the moth species is to survive.

Botanical / Art Resource Link: Eric Hunt of OrchidPhotos.org (who regular BPotD readers will know as Eric in S.F.) sent along this gem of a web site to me: Inside Insides, subtitled “Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Foods”. Hard to say which MRI is my favourite, but I’m leaning towards “mushrooms”.

Abronia latifolia

8 responses to “Abronia latifolia”

  1. Stuart

    Daniel, you wrote Copablepharon fuscum is monophagous throughout its entire life cycle, i.e., it only eats Abronia latifolia at all stages of its life. Does that mean that in the larval stage the moth eats the leaves, and as an adult it drinks the nectar of the Abronia? IANL (I am not a lepidopterist) but I’ve never heard of an adult moth eating leaves.

  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Stuart — that’s correct. The larval stage eats the leaves, the moth drinks the nectar. For a video of the adult feeding, see Raincoast Applied Ecology‘s Species at Risk page.

  3. ajbroome

    Heh. That’s the 2nd reference to ‘Inside Insides’ that I’ve seen in the last 2 hrs. I predict it’s going to be huge.

  4. Meg Bernstein

    Once again thanks for the information on the pollinator. I hope both plant and moth can survive.

  5. elizabeth a airhart

    a wreath of vervain heralds wear
    the greek and roman myths and lore verbena
    is fine and interesting reading
    thank you for all the links-david ingram’s
    blog is grand do not miss the right side
    of the page full of infomation and other
    blogs to visit. my vote goes for the tomato

  6. Dr R K S Rathore

    It will be worthwhile to include stem and leaves also in this photo of the day of Abronia latifolia.
    Thanks for the information of this endangered species.

  7. Gary in Olympia

    By the time I got to Inside Insides, all images had reached their “download limit” of 10. The rest of us will have to wait for a re-upload (using a less restrictive system, I hope).

  8. Pat

    The Plant Photo of the Day is nice but the übergeek link is cool. My vote is for the pineapple as most likely five-dimensional alien disguised as an Earth plant and now uncovered.

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