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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not Geometer but Lygropia rivulalis


unknown looper moth

OK, the quiz is going to start tomorrow. I just didn't get it ready today. What I did manage to do is finish an entry for a writing contest that was due tonight. They haven't announced the winners from last month yet, but are supposed to really soon. It's probably good that I didn't know how well or poorly I did before I finished the current entry. If I didn't even place I'd probably have been too disappointed to continue. I'm trying to think that one of the 3rd tier prizes would be nice. That's $25.

Instead I'm showing you a little moth that I found dead on my dining room table in September. I've been saving it to show you. Its colors are so drab, but the pattern is lacy and intricate. It's slightly less than an inch across, in real life. And the most interesting thing is that it is just a little bit shiny, like the sheen on silk when you move it through the light.

I tried to identify it, but the best I can do is that it's and I thought it was a Geometer. That means "earth measurer." Ha! I should have saved that for the quiz! Well, that's the official name for... inchworms. The Order is Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Family Geometridae. They are also called loopers or spanners. The moths all look a lot alike! I found one that has a very similar pattern to the wings on this little guy, but it's European, and I doubt that he wandered that far before kicking the bucket in my house.

Added March 2011: I have now gotten a definite ID from Bug Guide. It's a Lygropia rivulalis, or Bog Lygropia. They are found from southern Canada to South Carolina, and the adults fly in July and August, so my September find makes perfect sense. End of edit

P.S. I hate not being able to ID things.


See Moth Memories


5 comments:

RNSANE said...

Don't know too much about moths though, in forensics, I've done a few classes in entomology...mostly around death investigation and blowflies and their larva, etc, in estimating time of death!! Grisly kinds of stuff!

Ratty said...

I like the patterns on moths and butterflies. This one has a good one. I was determined to learn how to identify butterflies last summer, but as soon as I began learning I didn't see anymore of them.

rainfield61 said...

I have a different experience, and see them more frequently as I begin learning.

Ann said...

I thought I was the only one who took pictures of dead things. I found that they pose much better than live subjects ;)

Sharkbytes said...

Carmen- I love it! I think that would be a really interesting part of forensics

Ratty- It's hard to learn the ones that aren't so showy... remembering is not so easy

rainfield- yes, like a word you thought you had never heard, but as soon as you learn it you suddenly hear it everywhere!

Ann- You are SO right!

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