Friday, July 6, 2018

Dramatically Patterened 'Stealth' Lepidopteran

Tonight, I found a dramatically patterned insect on one of the doors of our main building- look at this gorgeous thing:

It took me a while to identify it because nothing about it screamed 'LEPIDOPTERA'. As we have a pond onsite, I was looking up caddisflies of eastern North America and getting nowhere. I finally decided to look up all insect species listed for New York state on the wonderful Insect Identification website, and luckily it was listed among the 'A's' or I'd still be looking. This most unmothy (antennae aren't feathery, wings are compact) looking insect is an Ailanthus webworm moth, a North American moth which has adapted to utilize a tree introduced from Asia, though now commonly associated with Brooklyn.

It's a strikingly pretty insect, one I really don't recall seeing before. Apparently, they are originally from the semitropical regions of Florida and the Caribbean region... but global warming is a Chinese hoax.

1 comment:

M.Krebs said...

I see those here in Georgia. (Collateral damage in the bug zapper I use to trap the Japanese garden beetles that decimate my basil and other things.) Maybe it's the various hibiscuses around here that they like.