Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Moths: March 19-31

These are the latest moths that have visited my porch light.  I am getting better at identifications but I still have twice this many that I have not named. I have noticed that I am gettting more moths of the same species and more varities. One night I had a lot of Mustard Sallows and then the next night they were gone. I suspect that they just hatched and headed straight for my light to get their photo taken before heading out for love.  Except for the Tulip Tree Beauty they were all in good shape. I hope you enjoy the wonderful varitiey.
Iridopsis defectaria (Brown Shaded Gray Moth)
Isn’t this one a beauty! It is member of the Geometridae family and found from Pennsylvania to Florida. I don’t think they have them in New York. The larvae chomp on oak, poplar, sweet cherry and willow. They don’t seem to be too pickey.

Epimecis hortaria (Tulip-tree Beauty)
These come around all summer long. I have a large Tulip Popular next to the house so they just hatch and come on over to rest before they go for a night out on the town.

Nemoria bistriaria
This is an Emerald Moth (Nemoria bistriaria) in the Geometridae family but this one is soft brownish pink. Later on in the year I will begin to see the second brood and it is indeed emerald green and one of my favorites. The markings are the same but this early one is brown which makes sense to me because green leaves are few and far between now and the green one would stand out like a sore thumb and be bird food in a split second. The larvae is polyphagous meaning it feeds on different types of plants but I did read that it has a preference for White Oaks (Quercus alba).

Pyreferra hesperidago (Mustard Sallow)
I couldn't find out much about this moth.

Phoberia atomaris (Common Oak Moth)
The Common Oak Moth (Phoberia atomaris) is a member of the Noctuidae family. The caterpillar (larvae) also loves Oakes. I live in a Oak-Hickory Forest so I am lucky to see a lot of these oak feeding insects.  The Oaks don't seem to mind but between the oak gall making insects, moths and butterflies that feed on them it is a wonder that they can produce so many acorns.

Plagodis fervidaris (Fervid Plagodis)
Isn't this moth just the cutest!

Zale lunifera (Bold-based Zale)
I love Zale Moths and their tapestry like wings. They all have a head dress that stands up like you might see on an African Tribe Chief. If you look below you can get a better view of it just behind the head. They look like hairs but in fact they are modified scales.

Zale unilineata (One-lined Zale)

Size-wise the Tulip Tree Moth and the Zales are the largest. The smallest is the Fervid Plagodis. Don't forget that you can click on each photo and get a better look. For the best look turn on your own porch light tonight and see who shows up. It is loads of fun and there are no comercials to sit through. So that is it for last month. Soon I will have some to show that I took last week.

Be sure to visit other interesting sites at Outdoor Wednesday.


Ellen Rathbone said...

And to think there was a time when we just dismissed them all as "just moths."

Gaelyn said...

What a fun idea to watch the moths on the porch light. I don't own a TV so will have to give this a try. I really like the Fervid Pogadis with the almost crown the best. Nice photos and identification.

eileeninmd said...

Cool post and photos of the different Moths.

Ms. Bake-it said...

Great shots of all your moth visitors! I too like the Zales, especially the Bold-based Zale you took a picture of. Their patterns resemble tree bark.

~ Tracy

MWYork said...

All very nice! Thanks for sharing.