Arched Hook-tip Moth (Family Drepanidae)

There are about 660 species in the Hooktip and False Owlet moth family worldwide (only 8 in the eastern U.S.A.). Drepanid moths are medium-sized moths (wingspread 1” – 1 ½”) that have uniquely-formed hearing organs, and many (but not all) have hooked wing tips. According to the range map, Arched Hook-tip Moth is largely missing from the Great Plains and the Gulf Coast but is present across Canada.

Midsummer Report

The BugLady would like to dedicate this episode to the late (great) Cornell Professor Richard B. Fischer (January 19, 1919 – August 7, 2005) who taught the BugLady how to sneak up on insects (no bobbing or weaving, just slow and steady and straight ahead.

Bugs Without Bios VIII

Today we feature three bugs about whom not too much information is circulating, other than their presence in museum collections and on state/regional biodiversity lists. If they have anything in common, it’s that all three are odd little insects.

The Very Unexpected Cycnia (Family Erebidae)

The Cycnia Moth is in the Tiger and Lichen moth family Erebidae. The UC (Cycnia inopinatus) is found in the U.S. east of the Great Plains into Massachusetts, and south into Mexico. Sources say that it prefers “high quality coastal scrub (including the Great Lakes drainage), dry, oak barrens, and similar native grasslands, typically on sand.”

Zale Moths (Family Erebidae)

The Zales Moths are a genus in the Wavy-lined Owlet bunch—family Erebidae and subfamily Ophiusini. They are decent-sized moths (wingspans just under two inches), and oh, those wings! Depending on how worn the moth is, the trailing edge of both the front and the hind wings sport a row of cool little scallops.

Three Striped Moths (Family Geometridae)

Curved-Toothed Geometer, Large Maple Spanworm, and Yellow Slant-Line moths are featured in this week Bug of the Week. The three members are in the Family Geometridae, with with 35,000 species worldwide (1,400-plus in North America).

Bugs Without Bios VII

Time to celebrate three more unsung bugs—bugs about whom little is written and whose internet presence is mostly limited to species/collection/biodiversity lists, and to whom we will give their 15 minutes of fame. Remember—there are more than 100,000 species of insects on this continent north of the Rio Grande, many that are difficult to distinguish from their close relatives and that are lacking both common names and biographies.

The Swallowtail That Got Away (Family Papilionidae)

Wisconsin has two common species of dark swallowtails—the Black Swallowtail and the dark morph female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail—and we host two dark species that are uncommon strays, the Pipevine and the Spicebush Swallowtail. The latter two are drifters whose caterpillar food plants are not native to Wisconsin. The natural habitats for this lovely wanderer include fields, parks, gardens, dappled woods, and edges from Central America through the southern U.S.

Cornworms and Hornworms and Squash Borers, Oh My!

Three moths, Corn Earworms, Tomato Hornworm and the Squash-Borer, applaud our gardening efforts (alas, the chief contenders for the BugLady’s patio tomatoes are chipmunks, not bugs). Those who don’t want to share can find a lot of information about pest control on-line and at your local Agricultural Extension office.

Lovely Larvae

Beautiful caterpillars that grow up to be admirable-looking adults (none of which the BugLady has seen, unless she has a picture of the Lithacodia somewhere in her X-Files). All three of these species have similar ranges east of the Rockies, and the adults of all three can be seen in mid-summer through fall.