Adult Dingy Cutworm Moths fly at night throughout summer and fall, resting and nectaring on flowers in the aster/daisy/composite family. DCM eggs are laid by late August on clovers, dock, members of the aster family, and a number of agricultural crops like alfalfa, tobacco, wheat and corn. Picture-Winged Flies, on the other hand, prefer their corn on the cob.
The Greater and the Lesser Grapevine Loopers (Eulithis gracilineata and E. diversilineata) live in suburban, rural, and wooded areas in eastern North America. Although the caterpillars are quite distinct, adults can be the very devil to differentiate;
Today we consider three fuzzy, fall caterpillars. Some long-haired caterpillars have irritating/poisonous hairs, but the sources that the BugLady consulted underplay the “toxicity card” in connection with these three. They all spend the winter as pupae. The BugLady didn’t find any mention of the adults’ feeding preferences, so they probably don’t feed at all.
The BugLady takes lots of pictures as she moseys around—flowers, landscapes, a surprising number of people, and, of course, all manner of bugs. Bug pictures may stall in the BugLady’s X–Files, awaiting identification—some for a long time. Here is a selection from the X–Files. In some cases the BugLady knows part of the story; in others, even less.
Duskywing and a Cloudywing Butterflies are sun-loving, chunky, hairy, small-sized, large-headed, often brown/brown-and-orange butterflies that are sometimes mistaken for moths. Like other butterflies, their antennae have club-shaped tips, but in most skippers the clubs have a tiny hook on the end.
The Bad Wing, Green Leuconycta, and Green-patched Looper are three admirable moths that are outfitted in emerald.
Bog Coppers, also called Cranberry-bog Coppers, are with hairstreaks, coppers, and blues in the Gossamer-wing family Lycaenidae. They occur in a band across North America on either side of the Canadian border, as far south as northern Ohio/Pennsylvania/New Jersey, and Maryland, and never far from cranberry plants. They are extreme food specialists, the caterpillars eat only cranberry leaves.
White-lined Sphinx Moths can be found from mid-spring until early fall in open areas (parks, gardens, grasslands, scrublands and deserts) throughout North America, from Canada to Central America and the West Indies (they’re also found in Europe). They gather nectar on a variety of “flat” flowers like apple but is able to reach deep into tubular flowers like petunias, columbine, and honeysuckle.
Tiger Swallowtails have been split into three species. and the latter three groups of trees are food plants of the Canadian swallowtail, a northern species that was a subspecies of the Eastern Tiger swallowtail until 20 years ago are listed as eating aspens, birches and willows. By comparison, our other two swallowtails have narrower palettes. Their connection to plants in the carrot family has earned Black swallowtails the nickname of “Parsley swallowtail,” and Giant swallowtails are tied to plants in the citrus family.
The two moths that are featured today, the Walnut Sphinx and the Spotted Thyris, are pretty different from each other—one large, one small; a day flyer and a night-flyer; one from a very large family and one practically an only child; one well-biographied and the other barely known.