Sunday, June 15, 2014

Three-spotted Fillip Moth

Heterophleps triguttaria, in the Geometridae , or inchworm family.  The caterpillars feed on maples.  I'm curious to know where the name "Fillip" comes from.  Maybe it refers to the second half of the genus name, -phleps.  But what does "phleps" mean.

After a little research, I think phleps is from Greek and refers to blood veins (a phlebotomist is someone who draws blood), and hetero- means different or irregular, so different or irregular veins?  Maybe some reference to the venation of the wings.  I didn't find anything that referenced this in the one detailed description I found of the genus.

Since I'm thinking about names - the "Three-spotted" part of the common name makes sense, and so does the "tri-" beginning of the species name, and "-guttaria" is close to "gutta" which can refer to spots in latin.