The unmoth

After days out of town under less than wonderful circumstances, I participated this morning in the second Saturday clean-up at White Rock Lake.  Then I tried enjoying a walk.  But blustery winds made it all but impossible to photograph anything.  Even ducks are vanishing beneath white-capped waves and turtles are brief glimpses behind rough waters.

So I came home.  And found this delightful critter on the patio trying to stay out of the gusty conditions.

A male grapeleaf skeletonizer (Harrisina americana) perched on the patio wall (2010_05_06_054506)

A male grapeleaf skeletonizer (Harrisina americana).  Not your typical moth.  But a moth nonetheless.  In fact, this species is hardly the least moth-looking of moths on the planet.  At least this one has wings!

Our quick photo session ended abruptly after the second snap of the shutter.  It seems this chap was disinclined to tolerate me being so close.

I gave chase across the patio.  He crashed here and there.  At barely a centimeter/half an inch long, keeping track of him was difficult enough given his erratic flight, but when he passed through the fence and vanished into the shadows of the surrounding bushes, I gave up.

11 thoughts on “The unmoth”

  1. Well I’m glad you got a couple shots of him, cause he’s awfully cool looking! Sorry about the rough few days, Jason but so glad to hear the news is looking up , too. Hope you find some time to relax (and hope the wind decides to back off!)

    1. Thank you, Jill! The wind did finally calm down. Then thunderstorms moved in. Not exactly the transition I was hoping for, but I like storms so can’t complain.

      And I appreciate your kindness. The last week has been trying and tiring, but all the good news in the last few days has made things feel much better.

    1. Oh, you have no idea, Murr. Kazon is the worst when it comes to flying insects inside the house; he’s torn blinds off the windows as he chased a fly. Nothing survives inside if it moves, hence I’m constantly relocating spiders and wasps and other critters when they sneak in the door. It’s for their safety as well as mine!

  2. Almost unreal! Thank you for educating me Jason! I see things on your posts I would have otherwise never heard of or seen 🙂

    1. You’re much to kind, Marie-Ann. Thank you! I just like discovering, seeing, observing. And then sharing. I’m thrilled to know you get to see some things you might not otherwise see.

  3. I’m glad you had enough time to snap this photo – I’ve never seen this moth – love the antennae.

    I missed the last 2nd Saturday cleanup at WRL – busy being sick, but I’m sure looking forward to next month. Especially since I discovered that apparently no-one is looking after that stretch by the kayak-shed-thing.

    1. It’s the antennae that show it’s a male, Amber. Theirs are plumed so they can pick up the female pheromones. And I thought he was a handsome critter.

      Sorry you missed the clean-up. The wind was so fierce that it was difficult to function. The clean-up bags were blowing around and some trash would be ripped from your hands. But it’s always worth it.

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