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Next week is National Moth Week, so let's go crazy about moths!

This year geometrids are the featured moth family for National Moth Week. The name geometrid roughly translates as "earth measurer" and refers to the fact the larvae are mostly inchworms.

See our recent blog post about geometrid moths.

How to celebrate:

First, be sure to check the National Moth Week events page to see if there are any public events in your area. For example, here in Arizona there's a talk at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park in Tucson on July 28, 2018.

If there aren't any events, you can create some activities of your own. Check out the kids' page for an awesome coloring book to download, plus games and stories.

For some cool science in more depth, read this article about how Bogong Moths use magnetic fields to guide their long distance migrations in Australia.

Moth Blog Posts at Growing With Science:

If you ever want to learn more about moths, check out the moths category in the sidebar.

Or visit our growing list of children's books about moths and butterflies at Science Books for Kids.

Finally, we also have two Pinterest boards you might enjoy:  All About Moths and Butterfly and Moth Feeders to Make.

Let us know how you celebrate National Moth Week.

Remember the caterpillar on the palo verde tree?

Now we have most parts of the life cycle.

Caterpillar

Pupa

 

And now  a moth!

Turns out to be the Royal Poinciana Moth, Melipotis acontioides, or a close relative. Isn't that a great common name?

It turns out that I had found a similar moth a few weeks before. I didn't try to identify it at the time because I had no idea what it's food plant was.

Knowing the food plant, plus all the stages, makes it easier to figure out an insect's identity.

Arizona naturalists have some more photographs of the same species of moth found in June 1, 2005. I first found our caterpillars May 30, 2018.

Interested in moths? Don't forget National Moth Week events, which are July 21-29, 2018.

A few weeks ago we found some caterpillars on our palo verde tree. The best way to find out what species they are is to raise them to adults.

Toward that end, we kept one in a container with some food.

It is now a pupa.

So amazing how most moth pupae look identical.

Here's the pupa of the bougainvillea caterpiller moth, Asciodes gordialis. Doesn't it look the same?

Back to the palo verde one, you would think it would be easy to take a photograph of something like a pupa because it is just lying there. Fact is, a moth pupa is amazingly active. It can thrash its abdomen and roll around farther and faster than expected.

Even a pupa can be camera shy!