Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Many-lined Carpet Moth

Many-lined Carpet Moth - Anticlea multiferata

I love the colors and patterns on this little moth.  It's a member of the Geometridae, or the Loopers, Inchworms, and Spanworms.  The caterpillars feed on willow-herb (Epilobium spp) and Prostrate Knotweed. (Polygonum aviculare).

Rhemaptera undulata is another almost identical species of moth in this area, though less boldly marked  Willows, among a handful of other plants, are a food source for the caterpillars of this moth.  It could be either moth; the only way to know for sure is to look closely at the genitalia.  I guess I'd rather enjoy it as it is; though maybe I'll come across the caterpillars later in the year and know with more certainty.  The caterpillars of R. prunivorta are boldly marked with dark brown, white, and cream colored markings while R. undulata is much blander, light colored inchworm.  The Cherry Scallop Shell caterpillars also feed in big groups, which is unusual for in Geometridae.