Saturday, March 10, 2012

Week 10: Midget Moths

Moths of the Week
This week the moths have started coming out in force; several species in one family have been particularly evident this week, Midget Moths.  These small moths are generally boldly marked and tend to rush into the house whenever we open the door.  Looking at they appear to be widespread and fairly common across much of the Southeast.

Grateful Midget - Elaphria grata (#9684)
Forewing: 11mm
Also reported from Zone 3 

Festive Midget - Elaphria festivoides (#9681)
Forewing: 14mm
Also reported in Zone 3

George's Midget - Elaphria georgei (#9680)
Forewing: 11mm
Also reported in Zone 5

Southern Pine Looper - Caripeta aretaria (#6869)
I have seen this Geometridae a few times over the past few years so I was surprised to read that it is considered rare or threatened across much of their range.  The bold yellow costa on the forewing separates this from similar species in this family.
Forewing:  22mm

False Underwing - Allotria elonympha (#8721)
This species has a single, even black border on the hindwing.
Forewing: 20mm

Light Marathyssa - Marthyssa basalis (#8956)
I was excited to find one of these on our window.  I hope to find a whole lot more since the larva eat poison ivy.  The forewings of Marathyssa moths are pleated and fold up while at rest giving the species in this family a unique silhouette.
Forewing: 15mm
Also reported from Zone 3

Spanish Moth - Xanthopastis timais (#10640)
From the first time I ran across this one on, I have been hoping to find one.  A pink moth with an afro, unmistakable.
Forewing: 20mm
Also reported from Zone 6

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