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The Darling Underwing Moth (Family Noctuidae)

Underwing Moths can be seen in wooded areas from southern Canada and the Dakotas south to Texas, and thence east to the Atlantic. Adults fly during the second half of the moth season and hide by day in sheltered places. Adult Underwings feed on nectar or sap, and the BugLady sees them on the woodpeckers’ oranges at night. Their caterpillars are food specialists; most eat the leaves of willow, hickory, walnut, oak, locust, hawthorn, and poplar.

Two-banded Petrophila (Family Crambidae)

There are moths whose larvae flirt with the aquatic environment by feeding on/in the stems of emergent aquatic plants, but there is also a small group of small moths whose caterpillars live underwater. Adult Two-banded Petrophila Caterpillars are found near the rivers and streams in eastern North America that their larvae inhabit. The hind wings of adult Petrophila moths have a row of black/metallic spots that make one spider enthusiast theorize that they’re Jumping spider mimics

The 12 Bugs of Christmas

In lieu of the usual bug biography, the BugLady presents The Twelve Bugs of Christmas—a tribute to a dozen insects (a Baker’s Dozen, really) that were photographed this year but not featured in a BOTW. Let the singing commence.

Corn Eaters

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.

Lovely Loopers (Family Geometridae)

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;

Fuzzy Fall Caterpillars (Family Erebidae)

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.

Bugs without Bios IV

The BugLady has many pictures of bugs about whom she can’t find enough information to write a complete biography. Here are three more of them.

Babes in the Prairie

Baby bugs are not sweet and cuddly like, say, Golden Retriever puppies, but they have their own charm. Here are a few of the less-seen prairie babies.

Lichen Moths (Family Arctiidae)

Lichen Moths have it all! Toxins, aposematism, attitude, thoracic tympana and ultrasonic emanations, sensory setae, fecal flicking, mimicry, and even cannibalism! What an insect! LMs have some interesting sensory abilities, both as caterpillars and as adults. Like typical adult tiger moths, LMs have “ears” located on their thorax. They also make a variety of ultrasonic noises with organs on their thorax.

Two More Porch Moths

Various Geometer moths are found in forests and openings throughout North America, from Canada through Panama. They come to lights at night, but FCGs are also seen by day. Pyralid moths include many small species with varied lifestyles, but the ones that draw the most attention are those that have an impact on human food supplies. There are about 6,000 species of Pyralids worldwide, and one-tenth of them are native to North America.