10 September, 2011

Moths in the Garden

A flash of emerald green caught my eye as I was walking though the garden last month (when it was still summer...sigh) and it was this beautifully colored moth resting on a Liatris flower stalk.  
Fine, straight vertical white lines drop down from the roughly horizontal zigzag line to the bottom edge of the wing.
I have tried to identify it and I think it may be Chlorochlamys appellaria, one of the emerald moths in the US. 
The underparts seem to be either white or pale green, although I did not try to  move the moth to get a better image.  At any rate, I can't see any flashes of orange or yellow that some green moths have.
I submitted an ID request to BugGuides which you can see here.  I hope to get a response soon.  They are very good at providing IDs and have a superb website for North American insects, spiders, etc.
If you double click on this image you can see the fine green fur on the thorax.
In July, in lovely, warm late afternoon light after a thunderstorm, I saw this fuzzy caterpillar denuding before my very eyes an appletree shoot that keeps coming up from rootstock of a tree we removed several years ago.
There are rain droplets still caught in the hairs of this caterpillar.
This is probably a yellow woolybear caterpillar of the Viginian Tiger Moth.  I found an adult moth about 3 weeks later.
Hard to tell if they are coming or going until you see them eating (or pooping, I suppose).  This one has eaten the leaf right down to the petiole.
I believe this is the adult Virginian Tiger Moth that may have come from that caterpillar or one of its siblings.
Taking shelter on the underside of a butterfly weed leaf.
It is mostly white with a dot or two of black on the wings.
It has a mane of white fur on the thorax.

Again, I didn't disturb it to get a better view of the underside.  
The legs are white with some black markings.
The eyes look quite dark.
To wrap things up today, is a shot of the first of the milkweed seedpods in our garden to explode into a mass of dazzling cotton to carry the seeds to new territories. 
 In this sign of autumn is the promise of spring and summer yet to come.


  1. Wonderful images... I can't help with the ID but thay are lovely to see.

  2. That green moth is a beauty.
    Excellent shots Wilma, and informative.

  3. Pastel green, what an amazing colour on that moth Wilma.

  4. Super selection of images love the Emerald moth shots.

  5. Wonderful pictures of this green moth Wilma... I'd love to get some in my garden as well asbutterflies, but I guess Iceland is too cold for that!!!

  6. Andrew, Keith, Roy, Anthony, and Chris - thanks, glad you like them. That green color is great, isn't it? Word back from BugGuide.net is that it might be a Wavy-Lined Emerald Moth (Synchlora aerata), another emerald, rather than Chlorochlamys appellaria, which has not been seen this far north. Anyway, thanks for your comments, I appreciate them all.



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