Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Small Green Moth

I love the color of these small Wavy-lined Emerald moths, Synchlora aerata.  In my opinion, it's a shade of green not commonly found in animals; a green found mostly in the new leaves and shoots of spring.

There a few similar green moths with white lines on the wings found in MN.  The Wavy-lined Emerald can be distinguished by the fact that the white line on the fore-wings appears contiguous with the white line on the hind-wing, and also by the presence of another white line down the body.

The caterpillars of this moth are unusual; they attach little pieces of plant material to their body with silk to make their own camouflage.  They repeat the process every time they molt, so they are never long without disguise.  I've never seen one of the caterpillars, apparently they can be found into the fall.  They are known to eat a wide range of plants, but many of them are in the composite family, so I think I'll start looking there.