Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Moths April 1-18

So many moths have come to my light lately that it is hard to keep up with the identifications. I was reading Seabooke's web page and she had some very good advice about naming what you can and moving on, always enjoying them and not getting bogged down. I have taken her advice and will just post the easy ones and the interesting ones I have seen.

Sometimes looking at moth photos they just look like interesting paterns but they are more than that. They are insects that come to my light and land on my head and crawl into my shirt while I am taking their photos. I get the willies at times, especially when a really neat one has just landed and I want to get a photo of it before it flies away, because usually about that time a common tiny one will decide to crawl around on my head.

They also look like they have some personality when you see them face to face.

Here is a Epimecis hortaria (Tulip Tree Beauty) that are very abundant at my light. I pictured one before but this is a better photo and one everyone can become familiar with.

When I see them up very close I am even more impressed.

Face to face with Epimecis hortaria (Tulip Tree Beauty)

Besma quercivoraria (Oak Besma)

I love the delicate lines in this one.

The next three are all different even though at first glance they look the same. It took me a while to figure out their names. To me they look like Jets or at least the paper models we made as children.

Bomolocha baltimoralis (Baltimore Bomolocha)

Bomolocha bijugalis (Dimorphic Bomolocha)

Nerice bibentata (Double-toothed Prominent)

Caenurgina crassiuscula (Clover Looper)

Eutrapela clemataria (Curv-toothed Geometer)

GEOMETRIDAE: from the Greek "geo" (the earth) + "metron" (measure); refers to the larvae, which appear to "measure the earth" as they move in a looping fashion. I always called them inch worms. Sometimes when you see them on a twig they will be attached at one end and the other end projecting out pretending to be a small twig or leaf petiole. They must be the envy of gymnast with their ability to stay in that position for a long time.
Idia americalis (Aamerican Idia)

Macaria aemulataria (Common Angle)

Nadata gibbosa (White-dotted Prominent)

Phyllodesma americana (American Lappet Moth)

This American Lappet Moth's head was really hidden and I was barely able to see it's eyes. The scalloped outer margins of wings with white in the scallops is what made me curious about this moth. It looked like a little skirt showing from under a matching overcoat.

I coaxed it onto my finger and gently tried to spread it's wings...they are amazing. It was like trying to wake up a sleepy puppy. I would nudge out it's wing and then it would slowly pull it back in as I tried to focus my camera. As long as I was slow and gentle it stayed on my finger. In fact it was hard to get off and I had to push from the rear to get it to step back onto the side of the house.

Plagodis alcoolaria (Hollow-spotted Plagodis)

Zale galbanata (Maple Zale)

Above is the third Zale I have seen this year, which is more than I have ever seen. As a group they are one of my favorites.


MyMaracas said...

They are quite beautiful. I especially love the head-on view with the lovey antennae.

Squirrel said...

What wonderful captures these are.

Woodswoman Extraordinaire said...

Magnificent moth photography! I especially love the ones where you can see their faces and feathery antennae.