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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mellow yellow and evening elegance

It's been warm at night recently, so I thought it might be a good time to look for moths.  I left an outdoor light on for a few minutes once it got dark, and then started checking for visitors.  Here are two highlights:

I haven't seen this species before, but I'm pretty sure this is Neoterpes trianguliferata.  Note the pretty mellow yellow background color, and the brown triangles or wedges of color along the forewing margin.  I love the way the angled wings give it a very "wavy" look along the back edge.

In the Moths of Western North America, Powell and Opler (2009) say that this species ranges from southern British Columbia to California; adult moths fly from late March through July in California; eggs are laid on gooseberries (Ribes spp.); and their caterpillars are twig mimics.

The next species is more difficult to identify.  I haven't figured it out yet.  But it's too spectacular not to share.  If you have thoughts about the identification, let me know!

ADDENDUM (20 June 2013): Jerry Powell at UC Berkeley has kindly provided some assistance with identifying the second moth in this post.  It's an American Angle Shades Moth (Euplexia benesimilis).  Thank you, Jerry!


Jeremy Long said...

Head shape and eye size reminds me of sphinx moths (Sphingidae), but not much about the rest does.

Jackie Sones said...

I'm leaning towards a noctuid (for the second species), but haven't had any luck identifying a species (or a genus) yet. I'll keep trying!