Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Things with wings

Not everything that has wings in West Virginia is avian. And, good naturalists that we were, we looked at more than just birds while we were there. Here are some of the beauties we found.

Luna Moth

Rosy Maple Moth

edit 5/19: Tulip Tree Beauty
(see below)

West Virginia White on Foamflower

American Painted Lady

(all photos enlarge with a click)

Edit, 5/12: Hap of New Hope has e-mailed me that he didn't think my "Black Witch Moth" was really that species. I agree. I was given that ID by somebody in WVa. who should know, but in my reading, the Black Witch is a huge moth, as big across as a man's hand, and this guy wasn't that large. Color and wing markings don't match up, either. So, if there are any moth experts out there, sing out and help me ID the moth in the third photo, currently labeled "unknown." ~Kat

Edit, 5/19 Hap did a ton more research for me, and here's what he sent me about my Tulip Tree Beauty moth (which I had wrongly called a Black Witch moth in my original post.):

Epimecis hortaria, the Tulip Tree Beauty; "A large moth (wingspan 4.3-5.5 cm.) with very broad
wings; outer margin of hindwing scalloped. Pattern variable; typical specimens powdery whitish with black zigzag lines across wings. FOOD: Pawpaw, poplars, sassafras, and tulip tree. RANGE: Mass. and s. Ont to Fla., west to Ill., Mo., and Tex."

Thanks, Hap! ~Kat


dguzman said...

WOW! I'd go with Painted Lady too, but I'm no butterfly expert.

P.S.--please email me--I'm in a quandary about a night heron and I need your memory! delia dot guzman at sial dot com Thanks!

Lynne said...

I had always wanted to see a Luna Moth- LIFER!!!!

denapple said...

Kenn Kaufman's book says this is an American Lady. I have to look up the butterflies every summer.

holly-the-person said...

We have some major lunas around here. But that rosy maple one - omg! - all I can think is cake with strawberry icing!

In the first pic, you all look like a chorus line. The Birdettes? (with apologies to the one rooster there). Or a conga line. Is there a 'we spotted this lifer' for groups?

wv: racksta.
1. In Maine, my cousins love Nickelback "Hey, hey I wanna be a racksta"

holly-the-person said...

Above was supposed to ask if there is a 'we spotted this lifer' **line dance** for groups.

holly-the-person said...

Ok, I've got a 'name that bird' question, for any and everyone. Please be gentle, don't laugh and hoot and point fingers and snigger that ANY dummy should know THAT bird. I'm sure it is one of those birds, but I'm sensitive...;)


Ok, hope I've got enough useful info, I was watching it on the brick walk from a second story window. Small, soft gray underside, cinnamon-y brown back with what looked like small specks of cream. Striped head, one black stripe in the middle running above beak to back of head, 2 white stripes on either side of that, then 2 more black stripes (all narrow.) Tail looked like 2 feathers stuck straight out behind and legs were under the body-so the bird walked more 'forward' rather than upright. And I live in the mid-Atlantic region, if that helps.

Anonymous said...

Nice moths, Katdoc. And I'm so thrilled that we are your banner photo today.

Holly, your bird sounds like a white-crowned sparrow ( The white-throated sparrow is similar, and the Cornell page explains how to distinguish them.

KatDoc said...


We did a "Life Bird Wiggle" for Life Birds, but we need to come up with a dance for finding a "Life Blogger." I didn't get any new birds, but I did tick off many new blog-friends on my Life List.

And I agree with Wren, sounds like a White-crowned Sparrow. No one laughs when someone starts getting the birding fever and asks for help ID'ing a bird. (We just chuckle softly to ourselves: "Hooked another one!")

Wren: I had 3 different pics of that group. In one, Susan is looking down, in another, TR is looking away. This was the best of the three. I don't think I got any photos of all of us together.


Susan Gets Native said...

Posting is killing me. I have so much stuff, I want to post 5 times a day!
I'm grouping them by video, people, bugs and plants, funny things...
I remember that moth. I was drunk, but I remember it.

Go to the Flickr pool if you want to get some nice groups shots!
Oh, wait. You don't DO sad, sad dope.
: )

holly-the-person said...

You guys rock. Ethan and I both went back and forth on the pics and we agreed it's a white throated sparrow, tan striped. And *that* is what has built a nest in an old basket hanging on our front porch for the past umpteen years! Thank you both so much and thank you Wren for the link.
Uhhh..does this mean that I may become one of...THOSE people?? lol

Mary said...

Susan's stuck on sad, sad, dope. LOL!

For almost every butterfly I find, I need to look it up.

Julie Zickefoose said...

I'm good with American Lady, KD. And I don't think you're a sad, sad dope. I think you're a happy little dope, with all the right gear.

Kathleen said...

Your recent posts are wonderful! The moths and butterflys are stunning. The Luna was a life moth for me and it was a beauty! WOW!

It was awesome to meet you and I hope our paths cross again soon.

I love the red bowl! Thanks!

KatDoc said...


I am not a sad, sad dope - just a forgetful one. I had a Flickr account, just forgot the user name and password, so I can't log into it. I have a new Flckr account now; how do I join the NR Group?


Bird Girl said...

It pays to hang out at the outhouse ;-)
Nicely done, Kathi!

dAwN said...

Wow..I click on each one and they were so cool! detail is wonderful.