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The 9th annual National Moth Week is coming up July 18-26, 2020, so let's take a peek at the abundance of moths in our yard right now.

First there were the genista caterpillars (previous post).


This genista caterpillar was on a neighbor's Texas mountain laurel so I gave it a home.

It made a loose silk cocoon on the cloth at the top of the container and pupated. The orange-brown crescent shape looks like a typical moth pupa.

Perhaps we'll have a moth to show in the next few weeks.

We found at least two separate species of caterpillar on our desert fern tree. The green looper was the larger of the two.

It pupated in the bottom of its container.  Pupae from the family Geometridae often show some emerald green coloration in the thorax region.

Here's the adult. I'm not entirely sure what the species is, but it is common right now.

This is probably another of the same species I found sitting on a wall a few days later.

Moths can be hard to photograph, first of all because they hide in the shadows during the day and secondly because they fly away when someone approaches them.

This powdery gray moth was unusual because it was feeding on a milkweed flower during the day.

Notice the curious fold in the forewing?

You can see the curved fold even in the open wings.

The examples above are just the tip of the moth iceberg.

Let's keep an eye out for moths over the coming weeks and try to learn more about them. For activity suggestions and information, visit the National Moth Week website.

Looking for children's books about moths? Then check out Jerry Pallotta's gorgeous new Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book: It's About Time Moths Had Their Own Book!, illustrated by Shennen Bersani,

plus others on our growing list of children's books about moths and butterflies at Science Books for Kids.

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For National Moth Week we have a moth with an awesome name: The Tufted Bird Dropping Moth,  Cerma cerintha. It is a type of noctuid or owlet moth.

Moths are often all about camouflage and this one can do double duty.

For example if it was perched on tree bark covered with lichen and moss, it might blend right in.

On a leaf it might look like a bird dropping, as the common name suggests.

BugGuide has some photographs of the caterpillars. They feed on plants in the rose family, including pears, apples, cherries, and hawthorns.

The tufted part of the name comes from the tufts of scales on the back of the thorax and wings. The tufts aren't easy to see from a back view. Try this side view.

The tufted bird dropping moth is found in the eastern half of North America where its food plants grow. It's common, but not much is known about its biology.

Isn't it cool? Are we beginning to convince you that moths are just as interesting as butterflies?