Monday, September 13, 2010

Copper Underwing

A few days ago I found and captured what I believe is a Copper Underwing (Amphipyra pyramidoides). This individual is very worn, so much so that scales were flaking off as I handled and photographed it. (You can see some of the scales around it on the graph paper.) I guessed the identification first by its general shape, the scalloped margin of the forewings, and the unusual shape of the postmedian line – a combination of features I have so far found only in the genus Amphipyra. Since I had the moth in hand, I was able to lift the forewing for a look at the hindwing, which had the orange and brown pattern typical of A. pyramidoides. I was quite pleased to find this species, as I have seen relatively few true noctuids this year, especially compared to pyralids or crambids.