The Green Cloverworm Moth, a.k.a. the Black Snout, is found in waste spots, road edges, grasslands, agricultural areas, and gardens east of the Great Plains. The Common Looper Moth (has a number of things in common with the GCM. It occupies about the same territory as the GCW, occurring as far west as Kansas and Wisconsin. Like the GCM, the CLM produces multiple, fast-growing generations from mid-spring into fall.
Except for the far east and west coasts, Chickweed Geometer are found from the Rio Grande well north into Canada, especially in the eastern half of the U.S. Because their larvae eat the leaves of chickweed (and clover and smartweed and other low plants) and because lawns may be hotbeds of chickweed and clover, Chickweed Geometers are often found in manicured situations, where their presence is welcomed.
Moths in the family Geometridae get their name from the Greek words for “earth” and “measurer. There are a lot of Geometrids – more than 35,000 species worldwide, with 1,400 of those in North America. As a group, they are smallish, nocturnal moths that can tolerate some pretty chilly spring or fall weather. Caterpillars feed on leaves of many woody and non-woody plants, and there are more than a few agricultural and forest pests in the family.
The Carrot Seed Moth, was first noticed in Midwestern North America in 2002. A little more than a decade later, it’s found from North Dakota to Ontario to Pennsylvania and Ohio to Iowa. Crambid caterpillars tend to be borers in roots and stems, and miners in leaves; some bother agricultural crops, and a few are biological controls on problem plants.
The two moths that star in this episode are the Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Moth and the Virginia Creeper Clearwing. They are not related to each other (other than their shared Lepidopteranism), but they have a number of things in common.
The Yucca Moth family is a primitive one that is found worldwide, though not all Prodoxids are involved with yuccas. As a group, they are smallish and nondescript. The number of species associated with yucca is up in the air because, as Holland went on to predict, “ No doubt there are other species of Yucca which will be ultimately discovered to have species of Pronuba which are adapted in their organs to the work of pollination according to their peculiar requirements ”
Eight-spotted Forester Moths is a smallish, flashy, day-flying moth that is often mistaken for a butterfly when it’s nectaring on flowers. Their caterpillars graze on leaves of plants in the grape family including wild and domestic grapes, woodbine/Virginia Creeper, peppervine, porcelain berry, and false grape in forest edges and sunny spots, and on vine-covered buildings.
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.
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
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.