COPPERY ORBEXILUM

This is a mated pair of Coppery Orbexilum moths, photographed July 2, 2016, at the Milford Center Prairie near Columbus. (The two pictures below show the male and female from this pairing after they separated.)

This species is  found at only a few sites, all undisturbed prairie remnants featuring its sole host plant: scurf pea (Orbexilum onobrychis). 

Would you believe that this tiny little moth is one of my favorite moth finds ever? Perhaps that's because Dayton can claim credit for this species. Coppery Orbexilum moths were first discovered at a Dayton area prairie in 1880. There were no known sightings for nearly a century afterward, but it has been rediscovered at a few prairie remnants in Ohio, Illinois, and Kentucky. I found the individual at left at a prairie remnant in Greene County, on June 30, 2017. I see these moths at that location from late June through early August. 

In my opinion, these moths should probably be classified as an endangered species. Almost all of Ohio's native prairies were destroyed, and only a few tiny scraps remain undisturbed.