Thursday, June 18, 2009

More moth fashions

While some moths came to the “Moth Ball” all gussied-up in their best black and white, or subtle and elegant pastels (please see the initial entry in my companion blog Sense of Misplaced), others sported complex patterns that rendered them virtual wall flowers, easily camouflaged on the bark of a tree, if not the wood siding on David Small’s shed.

Chief among these was this amazing tufted thyatrin, Pseudothyatira cymatophoroides, a member of the family Drepanidae that includes the hooktip moths and false owlet moths. It was one of the specimens to draw real oohs-and-ahs from the human spectators mingling among the winged wonders.

A wonderful salt-and-pepper pattern was displayed by this aptly-named “oak beauty,” Nacophora quernaria, one of the inchworm moths in the family Geometridae.

A chip off the old tree branch was what this “white-headed prominent” in the genus Symmerista resembled, its lovely white accent line adding to its disguise by imitating an exposed shard of underlying wood.

Perhaps the ultimate in obscurity was this slender little owlet moth in the subfamily Acontiinae that came incognito as, of all things, a bird dropping. Even more stunning, it is only one of over eighty species in that group, the majority of which are also bird-dropping mimics. Well, there is no accounting for taste, I suppose. More to come….

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