Sunday, July 23, 2017

Camouflaged Looper

The Camouflaged Looper, Synchlora aerata takes the camouflage strategy to a higher level by attaching small pieces of whatever flower it finds itself feeding on.  They eat quite a variety of flowers, but are most commonly found on flowers in the composite family; David Wagner in his excellent book "Caterpillars of Eastern North American" lists ageratum, black-eyed susan, boneset, daisy, goldenrod, ragweed, and yarrow from the composite family, plus a good variety of other plants.

Camouflaged Loopers are also known as Wavy-lined Emeralds for the light green moths they eventually develop into.  They belong to the inchworm family, the Geometridae.  This family never ceases to amaze and surprise me.  It's members contain such a variety of camouflages, feeding strategies and are some of the first and last moths active in Minnesota.  I think most people would recognize an "inchworm", but don't realize how much more there is to them.