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Friday, February 1, 2013

Highfliers

It was relatively warm in the early evening of 30 January 2013.  Moths started to appear at the light outside of our house in Sebastopol.

The first one I saw had beautiful green-gold banding.


Interestingly, the next one had a similar overall pattern, but was brown and black where the first moth was green and gray.


Surprisingly, the third moth still showed the same basic pattern, but was much paler than the others.


I think these are Oak Winter Highflier Moths (Hydriomena nubilofasciata).  After reading more about them, their markings are known to be highly variable.  Their flight season is from January through May.  Adults are primarily nocturnal, but may be seen flying during the day especially in shady settings.  Their caterpillars feed on oaks.


There were several other species of moths at our lights that night.  I haven't identified them yet, but here they are in case you're interested and can help out with the species identifications!

This one looked like moss and lichen:


This small silvery moth reminded me of an Invisibility Cloak:


The largest of the moths was high above my head, so I had trouble photographing it.  But here are two images, one for the wing pattern and another showing the frosty, swept-back mohawk on its head!



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