Prominent Caterpillars (Family Notodontidae)

The Prominents are a bunch of long-winged, hairy, often-drab, mostly-tropical moths. Of the 3,800 species in the family, 138 are found in North America (half of them in Eastern forests). Prominents generally lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves, where the larvae may initially feed gregariously. Caterpillar menus are generally limited to one or just a few host plants per species.

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.

Grass Looper (Family Erebidae)

The BugLady is pretty sure that this is a Forage Looper (Caenurgina erechtea) instead of the very similar Clover Looper (C. crassiuscula). Both occur across North America and southern Canada (not so much in the Great Plains), right up to the southern edge of the boreal forest. The GL likes moist, well-vegetated, open fields, edges, and disturbed vegetation.

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).

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.

The 12 Bugs of Christmas

It’s time again for the Annual “Twelve Bugs of Christmas” event (and, coincidentally, episode #350 in the series, by the BugLady’s numbering). Here are a (Baker’s) dozen insects that will not be getting (or who have already had) their own BOTWs. Feel free to hum along, and have a lovely Holiday.