Lettered Sphinx, Deidamia inscripta, a spring specialty that should be flying soon.
I just wrapped up the April edition of The Moth and Me, and invite everyone to head over to check it out. The really busy mothing period in the northern hemisphere has yet to kick into gear, while the moths down under are starting to thin out, but there are still a good number of interesting mothy posts.
The next edition is May 15, with submissions due to me by May 13. We’re just starting to enter the really good spring mothing here in Ontario, and folks further south should already be seeing lots flying. I encourage everyone to go out one warm evening between now and the next carnival with a light bulb and a white sheet, and see what you get! I bet you’ll be surprised. (If you want to invest $5, try picking up a black light from Home Depot to double your “catch”! I find the compact fluorescent type work better than the incandescents.) If you don’t know your moths, that’s okay! You can submit the images to BugGuide.net, or otherwise blog about it and tag me in the post or leave me a comment, and I’ll see if I can help out with IDs (no guarantees, but I’ll do my best!).
3 thoughts on “The Moth and Me #2”
We love this moth! Just imagining the sharp silhouette he or she would cut from a top view (is there a way to determine sex besides DNA?) Thanks for the white sheet/light idea — we can’t wait to give it a try! Perhaps tonight . . .
As far as I know, K&R, the only way to sex most moths is by the antennae – males have the feathery types, while females have thin narrow ones. But there are species where both sexes have the same type of antennae, and there are species where the two sexes actually sport different colour patterns. I don’t know if you can tell the sex of the Lettered Sphinx.
Hope you have some luck with your sheet! It’s neat to be able to see the great variety of moths out there. The stereotype is that they’re all just little brown jobs, but there’s some amazing colours and patterns among them, and some great subtle ones, too.
Thanks, Seabrooke! Sounds like a rather inexact science — just goes to show the remarkable variety that nature gives us, always keeping us ‘on our toes’ =) You’ve definitely given us a new appreciation for moths – it can be tempting, as you notice, to ID anything you don’t recognize as an LBM (little brown moth), but once you take a closer look, whole worlds open up!