As mentioned previously, moths are often more difficult to photograph than butterflies. They hide during the day, and they aren’t big and showy. Also — unlike many butterflies — moth life cycles aren’t always well known, so it may be harder to know where to look for them.
To remedy this, I’ve been posting some moth life cycles. For example, this week we have a more complete genista moth life cycle.
First we found the orange, black and white larval stage on Texas mountain laurel bushes.
By the way, these are sometimes call sophora worms because their host plant’s scientific name is Sophora secundiflora.
Those pupated in a loose silken cocoon.
We waited as the caterpillar changed into a moth.
Ta da! The genista broom moth (Uresiphita reversalis) has emerged.
It belongs to the family Crambidae, the grass moths. Can you see why another common name for the group is snout moth? Perhaps it will be easier to see from a side view:
The mouthparts form a point at the front of the head that resembles a snout.
Coincidentally, I found another caterpillar from the family Crambidae this week.
This is a mint moth caterpillar in the genus Pyrausta.
Hopefully, we’ll find out what the snout looks like for this moth in a few weeks.
In case you are gearing up for National Pollinator Week June 22-28, 2020, remember that moths are pollinators, too.
- See the life cycle of another Crambid, the bougainvillea caterpiller moth, Asciodes gordialis (previous post).
- Learn more about moth identification I and moth identification II (previous posts).
- Check out National Moth Week, coming in July.
Have you spotted any moths or caterpillars this week?
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