Robust Baskettail (Epitheca spinosa)

Many of the Baskettails (Epitheca sp) are notoriously difficult to identify, even in hand.  Perhaps the most confusing area for the identification of these species is East Texas, where 5 confusingly similar species co-occur.  Usually, the Mantled Baskettail (E. semiaquea) is mostly easily distinguished, with its distinctive hindwing maculation and stout abdomen.  Robust Baskettails (E. spinosa) can be distinguished IF the terminal appendages can be seen clearly, as there is a dorsal spine on each.  Next is the Common Baskettail (E. cynosura), which occurs in both clear-winged and maculated forms and has a relatively stout abdomen.  The Slender Baskettail (E. costalis) is more slender, has no maculations in its wings, a slender abdomen, and relatively straight terminal appendages in males and long appendages in females.  The Dot-winged Baskettail (E. petechialis), in its dot-winged form is easily distinguished by the dots on the leading edges of both wings.  Unfortunately, it also occurs in a clear-winged form, which can only be distinguished in hand from the Slender Baskettail (E. costalis).  In these pages, I have made my best effort to determine species, but this is not always possible with photographs - in fact, many experts would probably suggest that I'm being overly optimistic in some of the identifications presented here.  For all individuals which I have been unable to determine species (or make an educated guess), I've created a page for unidentified Baskettails.

Thanks to Dennis Paulson, who corrected my misidentification of these Baskettail photos from my Common Baskettail page.  This series of photos represent the 2nd known locale in Texas for this species.  The spine on the dorsal surface of the terminal appendages should be clearly visible in the inset photos.

TEXAS: Jasper Co; Angelina National Forest, Bouton Lake - male in flight - March 2009