General Neko's Moth-Watching Thread

Discussion in 'Beachfront Hangout' started by Nekoban Ryo, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    Whoops, I forgot to post the Common Looper and Large Lace-Border I found before! They've been added to the first page.

    At first I thought this guy was another Blinded Sphinx, but it's actually a Walnut Sphinx. Colors range from grey to brown and markings may appear more pronounced on some individuals. Lavender highlights may be present. Unlike the Blinded and Small-Eyed Sphinx Moths, the Walnut Sphinx doesn't have eye-spots on its hindwings.

    [​IMG]

    I also took a pic of it on a Diaphorodendron fossil, a Lepidopteran on Lepidodendrales (desaturated to give it an ancient vibe). Lepido comes from the Greek word for "scale/scaly" referring to the fine scales on a moth or butterfly's wings and the scale-like texture of these ancient plants.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: I also spotted this itty-bitty but charming Bold Medicine Moth. You can't tell it so much here, but the white patches are silvery and give the moth a glassy look when seen in-person.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  2. GrandPanacea Thread Necromancer
    GrandPanacea

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    Man, you see all kinds of crazy moths. The only ones I've seen around here have been a few variations of the basic white/grey moths, and a single Luna moth once.
     
  3. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    Maybe it's your location. Do you live near a forest or waterbody? Or maybe you just haven't been paying close enough attention. I know I had no idea that there were so many interesting moths around me until I got into mothing. I assumed they were all, with the exception of the Luna and Sphinx moths, small and drab.

    Numbered the moths in the first post. That's 60 species of adult moths so far, and that's only the ones I consider interesting! I also added a red star next to my favorites.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  4. GrandPanacea Thread Necromancer
    GrandPanacea

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    I live in New Brunswick, Canada, in a city. My specific area is completely residential, so I'm not super surprised. There's a river bisecting the city, but it's still pretty urban all around it.
     
  5. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    That would probably explain it. I've got a forest on either side of me and a creek right over the hill, making it an ideal ecosystem for insects.
     
  6. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    A new visitor: Red-Fringed Emerald

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    I finally saw my first active bagworm caterpillar. I found what appeared to be a bagworm case attached to a boxelder leaf, gently plucked it off to confirm that it was attached with silk, then put it into a jar for observation. It wasn't long after bringing it inside that it started shifting around and the little caterpillar revealed itself!

    [​IMG]

    YEAH! I CAUGHT A BURMY!

    Although similar in size, I don't think it's a Mini Bagworm since it isn't cloaked in grass. It could be a young Evergreen Bagworm (which, contrary to the name, feed on more than just evergreens) or maybe even a species I'm not yet aware of. I think I'll hold onto it to see what it becomes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  8. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    Got another new and very pretty visitor last night: a Basswood Leafroller Moth. Its scientific name, Pantographa limata, (very) roughly translates "ruined drawing," as if someone were drawing its wing pattern when they accidentally spilled the ink. Like the visually-similar Zebra Conchylodes, another member of the crambid snout moth family, this moth too has a purply iridescence on its wings.

    [​IMG]

    I also added the Venerable Dart Moth (found last October but only recently ID'd) and removed the "Satin Moth" entry from the first post (it was actually a female Fall Webworm, so the photo was moved there).

    Additionally, I decided to release the bagworm. I was afraid it was dead since it never reattached itself to anything and wasn't showing any signs of movement or eating for a couple days, so I set it loose on a boxelder in hope that it was just nervous being in the jar. I checked on it a few hours later to find that it had attached itself to the underside of a leaf.

    [​IMG]

    If it doesn't go far, I'll try to keep an eye on it throughout summer. With any luck, I might collect it again whenever it's ready to pupate.

    - - -

    UPDATE: Added the Showy Emerald. If the bold green colorization and sharp, contrasting lines aren't cool enough, Google its caterpillar. Crazy stuff! Be careful not to handle those caterpillars though. They don't sting, but they feed on poison ivy and, as such, may be covered in the plant's oil that causes itchy rashes.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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  9. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    Got two more on my wishlist. What a cool way to start the month!

    The third-largest moth I've ever seen, a female Imperial Moth:

    EDIT: It's actually male. The brown patches along the bottom of the forewings and bushy antennae are characteristic of males. (Some silkmoth females have bushy antennae, albeit smaller than the males, but female Imperial Moths have plain antennae.) Many males have larger brown patches, so this one was throwing me off.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And I finally found an adult of the bizarre Smaller Parasa Slug (see the caterpillar in post #23). I adore this guy's earthy colorization.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
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  10. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    A silk moth and close relative of the Pink-Striped Oakworm moth, the Spiny Oakworm Moth. They normally rest with their wings closed, but I was able to pose them while she was snoozing. Males are a bit smaller and darker with little to no color variation on their wings.

    [​IMG]

    - - -

    Update on the bagworm: Fortunately, I'm able to continue observation since it's still hanging around the area I released it. It's getting more robust, markings are appearing on its previously-black body, and it's starting to collect more leaf bits. The markings lead me to believe it's an Evergreen Bagworm, but I'm still not 100% certain.

    [​IMG]

    It looks a lot more like Burmy now! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  11. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    My second giant silkmoth of the season, a Tulip-Tree Silkmoth (male)! He came flying to my porch-light at about 10:30 PM.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  12. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

    Member

    More moth goodness!

    Spiny Oak-Slug Moth:
    [​IMG]

    Ironweed Root Moth:
    [​IMG]

    A Datana-genus moth (not certain which one):
    [​IMG]

    False/Crocus Geometer Moth:
    [​IMG]

    White Flannel Moth:
    [​IMG]

    Laurel Sphinx:
    [​IMG]

    National Moth Week is coming up soon, so hopefully I'll get some more cool visitors then!
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  13. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    Greater/Lesser Grapevine Looper:
    [​IMG]

    Wavy-Lined Heterocampa:
    [​IMG]

    I also updated the pics for the Spiny Oak-Slug and White Flannel Moths in the main post.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  14. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    Rescued a Giant Leopard moth from a spider web and posed it next to a Hebrew Moth for funsies.

    [​IMG]

    Concerning the bagworm I'd been keeping tabs on, it seems to have packed its bags and left. Here was the last pic I managed to take of it (withdrawn, unfortunately, since the wind startled it). It grew 2.3cm since I first found it at a mere 1.7cm.

    [​IMG]

    - - -

    EDIT: Forgot to post this one. I mistakenly identified my previous Imperial Moth as a female when it was in fact male. Below is a female I've seen since, slightly larger and with less brown on her wings.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  15. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    Like true Underwings (Catocala), the False Underwing hides a splash of color on its hindwings. However, it belongs to a different genus (Allotria).

    [​IMG]

    And here's an early instar flannel caterpillar, which I believe belongs to the Black-Waved Flannel Moth since I've seen so many of those this year. While these guys look incredibly soft, flannel cats can deliver a potent and potentially-dangerous sting! The wispy hair becomes darker and fuller over time with each molt, eventually making this creature resemble a miniature, animated toupee.

    [​IMG]

    It used to bother me that Venonat wasn't a caterpillar, but now I can see how some of these fuzzy round-ish caterpillars could've inspired it. Its Silver/SoulSilver entry states that poison oozes from all over its body, probably referring to the venomous hairs of stinging caterpillars.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  16. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    So begins National Moth Week! If you're wanting to spot some interesting moths, including giant silk moths, this may be the time to look! Keep your outside light on late or all night to see if you attract any cool visitors (warm, humid nights are ideal). Check around flowers as well for day-flying moths!
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  17. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    National Moth Week wasn't too kind. I think it came early for me, having found several cool things earlier this month and later last month (probably due to the summery spring). I only found one interesting new-to-me species during the week, then two just after. Still waiting for confirmation on the IDs, but here are my best guesses:

    Bold-Feathered Grass Moth
    [​IMG]

    Yellow-Collared Scape Moth
    [​IMG]

    Mint-Loving Pyrausta (a bit pinker than average)
    [​IMG]

    I also added the Orange-Patched Smoky Moth to the main post. I took the photo this spring but neglected to post it. I'll add the others once they're confirmed.

    I'm not sure how bad they are where you live, but berry bugs (chiggers) are ridiculous in the southern US right now. I haven't been doing much daytime hunting since my right foot got attacked in the past week. Poor Dad's got both feet and legs eaten-up. Take precautions when walking through grass or near woodlines!

    - - -

    EDIT: One more. I like how this one almost looks like it has paw prints on its wings. (Or are those Fighting Energy?)

    Promiscuous Angle Moth
    [​IMG]

    And, while not a new species to my list, here's what the Banded/Sycamore Tussock Moths look like with spread wings:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  18. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

    Member

    With its gold border, I could easily see a Bug-Type Badge being modeled after the Blackberry Looper (another species of emerald moth). This one's female.

    [​IMG]

    Colorful Zale
    [​IMG]

    Another older moth, but here's what the Beautiful Wood-Nymph looks like with spread wings:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  19. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

    Member

    I had to remove some of the secondary photos from the main post because I had reached the maximum number of images allowed per post! Now I should have room for a few more. I may eventually have to remove some of my least-favorite/less visually-striking ones.

    Here's my first new moth of August, a Virginia Creeper Sphinx. This one's brown, but they also come in shades of grey and green (I'm still hoping to find a green one). The hindwings are orange to orangey-brown. The larvae feed on leaves of peppervine, grape, and, its namesake, Virginia Creeper, while adults feed on nectar.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Nekoban Ryo Schizoid Manchild
    Nekoban Ryo

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    Visually similar to the Fall Webworm Moth and almost impossible to distinguish with closed wings, the Virginian Tiger Moth (Yellow Woolly Bear Moth) is just slightly larger and has black dots down the back of its abdomen and yellow-orange patches on either side.

    [​IMG]

    Although not very colorful, the Tulip-Tree Beauty stands out in a crowd with its larger-than-average size.

    [​IMG]

    Thin-Winged Owlet
    [​IMG]

    Southern Pine Sphinx, albeit a lightly-patterned (or worn) one.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018

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