Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Underwing Moths

It was hot and muggy today, warmer than usual for September, the evening is humid with a clear sky and a sliver of moon. It will soon be time for the Sweetheart Underwing Catocala amatrix moths that spent the day hiding in plain view on the north side of our brown brick house, to set aloft in the darkness. 

Every year I have been delighted to find one or more species of the large beautiful Underwing moths in our yard. The attraction for the Sweetheart must be a row of Cottonwoods on the north side of the property, they are a host plant. These large moths, that look remarkably like the bark of their host trees, hide colourful underwings, visible only in flight. When under attack, it is thought that this colourful display startles potential attackers momentarily, allowing the moths to escape predation. The eggs overwinter in crevices under the bark of host trees.

Here are photos of the moth at rest and with wings open showing part of the underwings:

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