Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Moth Morning

There was some fairly heavy rain during the night, and this morning when I took Jet out for his walk, I noticed quite a few moths on the front wall of my house, presumably where they had sheltered during the rains.  I took some pictures and set about making identifications of these lovely visitors.  I thought I'd share the interesting variety in these Lepidopteran species that make their home in this area.

There were two of these beauties - Twin-spotted Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus jamaicensis).

As you'll see in these close-ups, the top one of the two was a little darker than the bottom one, but they are definitely the same species despite the variations in their wing details.

I love how the body of the moth is arched in a sort of S-shape as if it were designed to have a little rider on its back!

This is the Yellow Slant Line Moth (Tetracis crocallata).  It was sitting on my propane tank, taking a rest. A rather uninspired name choice for its common name, but it does make it easy to identify.
Here's an interesting moth that sort of looks like a curled up dead leaf.  It goes by the name of Sigmoid Prominent (Clostera albosigma), but if you like, call it the curled up dead leaf moth.  If you look closely, you'll see that there's another moth disguising itself against the wood in the picture below.  It's some kind of geometrid moth but I'm not sure what species.  There are over 1,200 geometrid species native to North America, and I don't have the time to positively ID this one!
Here's a close up of the Sigmoid Prominent.  You can really see the way it wraps its wings around itself to give it that curled leaf appearance.  I love those fuzzy antennae!

Just above this moth was another interesting species - the Modest Furcula moth (Furcula modesta).  It is also quite easy to spot because of its distinct black markings.

Finally, another moth vying for the prize of looking like a dead leaf.  This one is the American Lappet Moth (Phyllodesma americana).  It reminds me, a little bit, of a furry hedgehog with wings.
There were also quite a few June bugs on the same wall.  Probably they were the same ones that kept on slamming themselves into the windows last night.  I'm not sure why they don't all get concussions, based on the sound of those thumps every time they hit the window, but somehow they just keep on going!


Patty Woodland said...

Ugh. insects.

thecrazysheeplady said...


Alison said...

I like the leaf moths. Nature is so clever.

tpals said...

Fascinating! What fun to have so many varieties where you live. They don't seem to mind posing for you either.

Lin said...

Do you know that moths have fuzzy antennae and butterflies do not? That is an easy way to differentiate them from each other.

LOVE these photos! They are really beautiful little creatures.

Michelle said...

You captured some beauties, and the weathered wood makes a perfect backdrop for them!

Marigold said...

Very cool! Aren't Sphinx months the ones whose larvae are tomato worms?

Amphibiaknitter said...

Love. The. Moths. So beautiful. You do an amazing job of photographing them.

So if they have those between Amherst and Truro, they must exist in Halifax.

Off on a moth hunt...