Thursday, July 1, 2010

Moth #100!

I had set a goal of photographing and identifying 100 moths by the end of June. The photographing part is easy, I have well over 100; the ID'ing part is not always so easy. There are over 11,000 species of moths in North America, so it takes a lot of time and patience to match up my photos with the on-line guides! The numbers by the moth names are called Hodges numbers, they are a catalog listing number that helps tremendously in verifying the moths.

Last night 2 of the slug moths came through for me to help me reach my goal! First I spotted the pretty green one, a Smaller Parasa #4698 Parasa chloris sitting on the ceiling of the carport. I moved it so I could get a better photo, it is really hard to take a picture of a moth straight over my head! The second one was a Shagreened Slug Moth #4669 Apoda biguttata, that one made my goal --- #100! The moths in this group often hold their abdomens up above their wings, it gives them a strange effect! They get the "slug" designation from their slug-like caterpillars.

This next one falls into the "truth is stranger than fiction" category! It is called a Boxwood Leaftier Moth. They are so weird looking! We do have several Boxwood shrubs in front of our house, I guess I need to look and see if there are any caterpillars tying the leaves! :)

As I was looking at this weird moth, I noticed a pair of fireflies mating on the wall. They were "tail to tail", I guess if he was ugly, she didn't have to look at him! ;) I wondered why they didn't have their "close encounter" in the grass instead of high on the wall of the house! The fireflies weren't the only beetles I saw, there was a large gold one and a longhorned one next to each other on the sheet. It can be pretty intimidating when these big things fly around near my head! :-0

Check out the cool antennae on this male mosquito! They use them to detect the hum of the wings of the females. If you want to know what that sounds like, just listen to a high C tuning fork that has been tapped, the frequency is the same, 512 times / sec.!

Every night brings something new to the carport! It is fun to go out each night and see who comes for a visit!

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