Tag Archives: brown-shaded gray moth (Iridopsis defectaria)

Rainy day on the patio

Several days ago as storms moved through the area, I stood on the patio enjoying the first climatic sign of spring to grace these here parts.  I have two words for this season’s atmospheric excitement: Bor. Ing.  But anyway…

I didn’t really set out to photograph anything except the weather, assuming of course that it offered something to photograph.  Well, not so much.  The storms passed us before they energized into tornado-spawning severe weather.  Heck, I think I saw all of two or three flashes of lightning.  Yawn.

Yet while I stood slipping into a weather-induced coma, I took the chance to snap a few images of the life sharing the patio with me.  Obviously I wasn’t the only one staying out of the rain.

A bagworm moth (Dahlica triquetrella) inching across the patio fence (2009_05_07_018462)

A bagworm moth (Dahlica triquetrella).  Scarcely twelve millimeters/half an inch long.  Mostly they look like bits of detritus, at least until they move.  But when disturbed the caterpillar vanishes into its mobile home, and then it really looks like some kind of debris.  This would be a female because this species doesn’t need males; the females are parthenogenic, meaning they lay viable eggs without the help of a male.  Now where’s the fun in that?

An omnivorous platynota moth (Platynota rostrana) resting on the patio wall (2010_04_07_052443)

Omnivorous platynota moth (Platynota rostrana).  Cool name for such a small critter.  I do like the snout and the cape-like shape of the wings.  Either this one sleeps deeply or this species isn’t overly sensitive to major drama unfolding around them.  I lost my balance and fell against the wall, nearly smashing my face against this earth-toned flier.  And it never budged.  Heck, it didn’t even blink.  (I made a funny!  Didn’t blink.  Ha!)

A brown-shaded gray moth (Iridopsis defectaria) perched above the patio window (2009_05_13_018569)

Brown-shaded gray moth (Iridopsis defectaria).  A not so cool name.  In fact, it’s bland.  With so many insects to name, I suppose I understand how being original now borders on impossible unless the name has nothing in it but a physical description.  Of course, that doesn’t really explain gray catbird or red fox or…  Oh, never mind.

Moths weren’t the only things on the patio.  Isopods, arachnids, mollusks, reptiles, wasps and flies also could be found in respectable numbers.  Then there was this cool critter.

A stilt-legged fly (Rainieria antennaepes) waving its front legs while it rests on the window screen (2009_04_26_016456)

A stilt-legged fly (Rainieria antennaepes).  Awfully thin and not sizable at all, they’re still pretty darn neat.  They spend a great deal of time waving their front feet around in front of them as if conducting an orchestra.  With those little white booties, this habit makes them easily locatable.  Assuming one is looking for teeny tiny legs waving about with abandon.  I popped off one shot before the fly bolted.  Apparently having my lens all up in its business was too much to bear.  Which irked me because I didn’t quite have the right settings for the photo, so a little patience would have been appreciated.  And given this fly’s size, a little patience is all they have.