Saturday, January 14, 2012

Week 2: The Gem

Moth of the Week
The Gem - Orthonama obstipata (#7414)
Perhaps one of the hardiest of our winter moths here in East Texas, I have found this little Geometridae still visiting the porchlight as the temperature has dropped down into the 30's.  Identifying the female is relatively simple; she has plain brown wings ranging from light brown to a deep maroon with a small white circle in the center of each forewing.  The male is a little more difficult.  They are highly variable with different shades of whites, browns, and black making horizontal stripes across the back.  A similar species the Bent-line Carpet (Costaconvexa centrostrigaria) is equally variable.  The key to distinguishing the two is in the tip of the forewing.  The Gem has a short straight dark dash at the tip of the wing while the Bent-line Carpet has a darkish smudge that extends from the middle to the front of the wing tip.

Male - note the dark dash at the tip of the wing

Bent-line Carpet for comparison
Note the dark smudge on the front of the wing tip.


See this moth at

Some other moths this week:
Dimorphic Gray - Tornos scolopacinarius (#6486)
Forewing: 13mm

Pyreferra pettiti (#9932)
Forewing: 13mm

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