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.

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.

Giant Silk Moths (Family Saturnidae)

Cecropia, Promethea, Polyphemus and Luna moths are members of the Giant Silk Moth family, Saturnidae, and some are giants indeed, with wingspreads measuring 4” to 6”. Northern species tend to have a single brood per year, while their Southern brethren may have two or three.

Three Cosmopolitan Moths

The order Lepidoptera (“scaled wings”) is a large one, with almost 175,000 species globally. Overall, around 80% of Lepidopterans are moths; there are 20,000-plus species of Lepidoptera in North America, and only about 700 of those are butterflies.

Bugs Without Bios VI

“Bugs without Bios” are critters that, while undoubtedly worthy, are barely on the radar in either on-line or print references. But, they contribute to their communities and have their own places in the Web of Life. What these three have in common is their (admittedly very limited) work as biological control agents.