Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Waiting for GoODmOTh

Waiting for GoODmOTh
by Carol Kagan, Master Gardener of Franklin County
National Moth Week, huh?
What's crawling on my coneflower? The caterpillar of a Common Eupithecia moth of the Geometridae family. It moves like an inch-worm (also the Geometridae family) and has tiny brown triangles on its back.

Their larvae mostly eat the seeds and flowers of aster, clover, coneflower, hoptree, juniper, wild black cherry, and willow and not the foliage as many caterpillars do.

Eupithecia is a large group of moths that can be found all around the world, and more species are being found on a fairly common basis. The genus comes from the family Geometridae, and there are hundreds of described species. The common name for the species is sometimes known as pug.
One of the common Eupithecia moths
Today I saw a hummingbird moth at my butterfly bush. Amazing. Not my picture on this one.
Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth (Hemaris diffinis)
There are several moths called hummingbird moths. The one I saw looked like a bee or a hummingbird. This one is a Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth (Hemaris diffinis).

These are found throughout the U.S. Unlike most moths, these moths fly during the daylight. Their favorite food is coral honeysuckle (preferred egg-laying spot) and butterfly bush. Their larvae feed on honeysuckle, viburnum, hawthorn, snowberry, cherry, and plum.
Larvae of the Hemaris diffinis

You still have 3-4 days to go out and find at least one moth or moth larvae. Turn the computer off and go outside.

For more information

National Moth Week-MG Blog
Cirrus Image: Better pictures of the Eupithecia caterpillar
Hummingbird Moth: Stay on the entry page for a fun look at discovering this moth

1 comment:

  1. What fun on the entry page. Clever and good information to boot. Gems like that are why I love the innertubes so much. Great find, Carol. Thanks.