Tuesday, October 05, 2010

More Late Season Moths

Aside from the Yellow-collared Scape Moth I posted yesterday, I have been seeing a variety of other moths. Here are a few. All of these moths were photographed between September 23 and October 2.

I saw lots of these moths at flowers all around Cape May Point State Park and the Meadows. At first I thought they might be skippers, but when I photographed one (badly) and looked at the photos, I realized that they were actually diurnal moths. This photo are from a later attempt, which produced much better results. The moths were Soybean Loopers (Chrysodeixis includens). Even though there were a lot of these moths, they proved difficult to photograph since they rarely stopped moving.

I found two individuals of this species, Rubbed Dart (Euxoa detersa), inside one of the restrooms at Sandy Hook. The species is common in sandy habitats such as beaches and grasslands and flies late in the season (July-October).

I think this moth, which I photographed at the Meadows in Cape May, is also a Rubbed Dart. The species shows a fair amount of variation; while the one from Sandy Hook is dark gray, this one is almost white. That seems consistent with the example photos at BugGuide and the Moth Photographers Group, though most of their photos are of darker gray moths. The pale coloration makes sense for the habitat; if the moth had not flushed when I walked near it, I probably would not have noticed it against the sand.

I found the moth below at Willowwood Arboretum. Though the date is rather late for the species, I think it is a Veiled Ear Moth (Amphipoea velata). (Some sources list the moth in genus Loscopia.) None of the other species I considered seems to fit the wing pattern as well. EDIT: Seabrooke comments that this is probably a Bronzed Cutworm (Nephelodes minians), which makes more sense given the late September date.