Zenfolio | Bruce Fellman | The start of underwing season

The start of underwing season

July 23, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

While the insect pickings at the kitchen porch light have been less than memorable this year—sigh, no giant silk moths—I haven't given up and I do manage to check the shingles every evening. So it was that I spotted the first Fawn Darner a couple of nights ago, and tonight, the reward for patience and natural history discipline was the first Underwing Moth of the season. These wonderful creatures, which feature leaf and bark camouflage colors on the forewings and completely contrasting and sometimes luridly hallucinogenic patterns on the hindwings, are a signature of midsummer and the start of summer's slow decline. I've been dutifully watching for them to make their first appearances, and, praise be, here was the first one. It belongs to a group that sports gray-to-black hindwings that are fringed with white and forewings that are warm brown with dark zigzag lines. I think, but this ID needs to be confirmed, that it's an Epione Underwing, so-named for the Greek goddess charged with the soothing of pain. Clearly, the appearance means that I have to get back to the identification books and relearn the Catocala clan. No use putting myself in pain.


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