Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Moth of the Equinox

At least some bloggers will be posting compilations of birds seen during yesterday's autumnal equinox. I did see some birds during my evening walk yesterday, but not that many. A handful of Least Sandpipers was probably the most noteworthy sighting. Dusk has been coming earlier in recent weeks, and with that bird activity slows down earlier as well.

So instead, I am posting a moth I saw during my walk at the park. This Chickweed Geometer was flitting around in the grass. It stayed still long enough for two pictures, but then flew off.

As you might guess, the larvae of Chickweed Geometers feed primarily on chickweed. I do not recall seeing any chickweed in the area where I found the moth, but according to BugGuide, they also feed on smartweed, knotweed, and clover. Smartweed and clover were definitely present in that corner of the park.

These moths are really small, less than an inch wide with their wings full extended. So it is easy to miss them when they fly past. Their tininess also makes it hard to see them when they do stop. But that bright pink pattern makes it worth taking a closer look.