Check out those cool antennae! But no idea what this is -- help!
Bristly Cutworm Moth, Lacinipolia renigera. Thought this was a plain grey job; then I looked at the shot & saw the green markings -- pretty cool.
I think it's holding its wings kinda funny. Can't quite figure out why the right HW is exposed like that.
A centimeterworm -- go metric! Not a perfect shot of the critter itself, but I couldn't resist the title. Exactly 1 cm long. Some kind of armyworm? Found in a Pachysandra bed. Dorsal view here: www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/139552800/in/photostream/; lateral here: www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/139550683/in/photostream/.
This guy was very active--chased it quite a bit and finally got 1 good shot. Yes, there are cornfields nearby. No, we don't like these -- but we do like the photo.
43 mm wingspan with wings fully extended; 23 mm long with wings fully tucked. Formerly called Pseudaletia unipuncta. I think I had 3 of these on the porch at once.
I got a good photo of this moth perched on the porch ceiling www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/202462204/in/set-7215759..., and then I tried to coax it onto my finger. Instead, it lifted off, made a complete circuit of the screened porch, returned to its starting place, and ... landed right on my face.
Yes, it tickled.
I think I may have a rational explanation. When a completely different moth buzzed around my face a bit later in the photo session, I figured it out: I had been eating melon earlier, & probably still smelled like melon juice.
It occurs to me that if they're this sensitive & attracted to fruit juice, it might make good bait. I know people use various bait formulas to lure moths; I should look into it. Anyone have tricks/recipes to share?
Here' s a shot of a deceased compatriot showing the cool coppery HW: www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/202463575/in/set-7215759... -- you can see just a little glimpse of it in the photo above.
I couldn't for the life of me ID the moth that landed on my face: www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/202462906/in/set-7215759.... In that shot I could see a trace of yellow underwing, which led me to suspect Catocala, but I couldn't find a match (inside or outside Catocala). Then I found a dead specimen on the porch. (There's a gap in the screen, & I think they may find their way in during the day & be unable to get out. When I actually do a photo shoot, I prop the screen door open & lure them with the porch light, but I always turn out the light overnight and leave the door propped open to give them a fighting chance to escape the porch.) It had this distinctive metallic coppery underwing, which made it easy to ID -- oddly enough, it's call the Copper Underwing. The FW has a lot of metallic scaling, too, especially at the bottom -- it's not just a flash artifact. Actually, I love the way the flash brought out the iridescent scaling on this one. Not what you want for an ID shot, but www.flickr.com/photos/anitagould/202462204/in/set-7215759... is a good angled shot showing the pattern without flash bounce.
Lepidoptera, by the way, means "scale-wing." You can see why.
Saw a lot of these.
Thank you to Hugh McGuinness for correcting my ID. 27 mm long.
Love the black collar. Agnorisma (formerly Xestia) badinodis, 21mm hi. A volunteer -- not attracted by light, just spotted it resting here.
I went crazy trying to ID these -- here's another individual with a good look at the hindwing, & a somewhat different forewing (they're very variable). I was pretty sure it was an Underwing, genus Catocala -- but all of those seemed to have a 2nd (median) black band on the hindwing, & the forewing patterns were all wrong. The photos I got of the 1st individual didn't show as much of the HW as this one does, but I was pretty sure it showed enough to rule those out. Then I hit upon the False Underwing, Allotria elonympha. That only had a single band, but it still didn't look right. Finally I paged through all the Noctuidae on Moth Photographers Group & found it: this one's common name calls it an Underwing, & it has the same sort of brightly colored hindwing with a black band, but it's not in the Underwing genus (Catocala). In fact, it's not in the same subfamily (Catocalinae), & it's not even considered part of the same family any more (when Noctuidae was split, this one stayed in Noctuidae, whereas Catocalinae went to the new family of Erebidae.)
All 3 living individuals I've seen (the 2 seen here & 1 I remember from last year; I found a 4th dead inside the house) I discovered resting during the day on the inside of our screened-in porch, which in itself is a bit of a mystery. But the screen is loose on one of the panels, so maybe they crawl in there and can't get out. (The porch light was not on at night to attract them.) This one posed nicely for a photo shoot on the inside of the screen, but the lighting wasn't ideal (shooting out from the dimly lit porch to the brighly lit outside). I got some decent shots, but not as good as the one above, which I got after I coaxed it onto my hand in order to release it outside.
Saw a lot of these. Female nectaring here on Sedum.
22mm long, ~43mm wingspan. X. c-nigrum very similar; went with dolosa because it's somewhat closer to the upper range of the size. ID confirmed by Hugh McGuinness.
Saw several of these. Nectaring here on Sedum. I like this shot better, but the other one shows the ground color without the flash bounce.
Saw several of these--they all seemed to be F. herilis rather than related species. This shot shows the purple-grey FW color well. Here's a nice shot nectaring on Sedum. 22 mm long, ~43 mm wingspan
10915 Variegated Cutworm Moth, Peridroma saucia 23mm long
15 mm long. Thank you to Hugh McGuinness for the ID (and to Joe Garris for help.)
9053 Pink-barred Pseudeustrotia, Pseudeustrotia carneola 13 mm long
I figured this for a tortricid, since it was so small (12 mm long). Turns out its a midget noctuid -- literally: that's what it's called. Love the pattern on this one. One of the kicks I get out of moth photography is that you can see so much more in a macro photo than you can with the naked eye.
Just gorgeous! Unfortuately, a crop/garden pest. 20 mm long.
We were over at a neighbors' house for dinner, & they were being invaded by these moths. A fall-flying species, probably trying to get in out of the cold. They had been catching them in a styrofoam cup releasing them outside, so instead they gave the cup to me & I took them home & photographed them, then released them.
American Bird-wing Moth,
Dypterygia rozmani, 20 mm long
I just love this one. Uncommon, per Covell. I dubbed it the Rocket-ship Moth before I found its real name.
Little guy -- ~14 mm long.
13.5 mm long
Common, & photogenic as all get-out. This one led me on a merry chase, but I finally got some good shots.
Not the best color (some green from the Hg vapor lamp) or exposure, but it's the best I got of this gorgeous little creature. Only 12 mm long.
Taxonomic revision (Lafontaine and Schmidt 2010): changed from Thioptera nigrofimbria
Isn't this little creature just gorgeous?
I love the colors on this one, & the shapes in the "crest." Species wingspan 30-38 mm -- I was distracted by the very exciting Leopard Moth before I got a shot with a ruler.