Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Green Moths

I was looking at the online BugGuide section on moths and noticed they had a section of green moths. I thought that was a great idea especially since a lot of the moths coming to the light this month were green or had green in them.  At first it seemed like an odd color to me but once I thought about it, I realized it was the perfect color for hiding during the day time.  All of these except the Parasa chloris (Smaller Parasa) and Cerma cerintha (Tufted Bird Dropping Moth) came to my light this month. The two exceptions were photographed June 2004.

So far this year I have had 4 Luna Moths show up which is a record for me.

Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria
Subfamily Geometrinae – Emeralds

Dyspteris abortivaria (Bad-wing)

Dyspteris abortivaria is different from some of the other green moths because the to the head, thorax, abdomen and even legs are green. If you compare it to the Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria you will see that the wings are longer narrower and a different shape which helps to identify it. This moth is known as the Badwing, because it is apparently difficult to position for spreading. I have a lot of Virginia creeper around my house so I should look for the caterpillar since that along with grape leaves is it’s plant of choice.

Leuconycta diphteroides (Green Leuconycta)

Lithacodia muscosula (Large Mossy Lithacodia)

Cerma cerintha (Tufted Bird Dropping Moth)

This interesting little moth is a member of the very large Noctuidae (Owlet) family. Like this one most of the Owlets are draw to the night light. Cerma cerintha larva feed on the leaves such as apple, cherry, hawthorn, all in the rose family. A lot of birds also feed on these plants so I suspect that might have something to do why it has evolved to look like similar to bird poop. In the remarks section of the BugGuide someone humorously wrote, “Although the common name is often spelled with a hyphen (bird-dropping), this moth does not pick up birds - and does not drop them!”

Maliattha synochitis (Black-dotted Maliattha)

Parasa chloris (Smaller Parasa)
Their caterpillars have no legs and move - sluglike - on the undersides of leaves


Nature ID said...

I love your collection of green moths. Awesome!

~Cheryl said...

Your photos and information give me an appreciation for moths ... usually I'm just annoyed with their flitting about my face! These are actually very pretty!

Potomac Valley Nature Writing Group Reading List said...

Gorgegous colors, flowing designs. I want a dress that looks like a luna moth! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos.

squirrel said...

I'm glad ya'll are enjoying the moths. I sort of remember a flowing night gown that my mother wore that looked like the Luna moth. Trillium after reading your comment about the dress I started seeing them as "beetles in pajammas". Starting out with the night gown for the Luna and ending with big fuzzy long PJ's with feet that the Smaller Parasa is wearing.