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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Lesser Maple Spanworm

  Hundreds of these tiny moths were flitting around on Saturday when we were hiking. Someone asked if they were the gypsy moths. I knew they were not that, but I didn't know what they were. Now I know. Can you find the moth? lesser maple spanworm moth

Here is the moth- it's less than an inch across. Cute litte guy. It's the Lesser Maple Spanworm, Speranza pustularia. Their caterpillars are one of the little green inchworms. They prefer maple, but will also eat birch, cherry, poplar, fir, hemlock and tamarack. Not really a problem caterpillar/moth. lesser maple spanworm moth

It turns out you can narrow down the group to ID a moth based on how it holds its wings when resting. And for your reference, gypsy moths are much larger- an inch or more in length, and they hold their wings back farther so their resting shape is more of a triangle. The female gypsies are white with a furry head, and the males are light brown. Feel free to squash any of those when they start emerging!

In other news: It ended up not raining, but it was damp and looked rainy all day so I did not paint. I worked on computer stuff and accouts and errands, and blah blah. Spent all day doing half my potential list. What else is new? No info on the baby phoebes. I haven't seen them trying or succeeding to fly, but I haven't really been watching. Mom and dad have been around as usual and don't seem frantic.

See Hike Day


Ann said...

I had no idea you could tell the difference by how they hold their wings

Sharkbytes said...

Me neither, apparently! I knew it with dragonflies and butterflies, but there are more choices with moths. Could be very helpful.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Charlee: "I can always find a moth."
Chaplin: "Me too."
Charlee: "So if you need someone to come along on your hikes and help you chase moths, just let us know!"

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