|Red Twin Spot Moth – Xanthorhoe ferrugata |
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Also commonly called "dark barred twin spot carpet" moth.
"Xanthorhoe ferrugata has light gray to light grayish tan forewings, with many cross lines and bands of color in a pattern characteristic of many of the Larentiinae or so-called carpet moths (so called, I suspect, because the pattern of lines and bands is reminiscent of the border patterns of some oriental carpets). It can be distinguished from other similar species by its relatively wide dark reddish brown or black median area, and the double blackish spot in the subterminal area below the apical patch. The dark reddish brown median is characteristic of the type, which I seldom see; most of the specimens at my location are the form with the black median. The basal area is usually reddish brown, often with a fairly wide band of orange-brown bounded at the outer edge by a double whitish line preceding the black median area. The outer edge of the median is bounded by a moderately wavy double whitish or white and orange-brown line. The apical patch is usually brownish and somewhat diffuse. The double black spot in the subterminal area may also be somewhat diffuse, but is invariably present. A similar pattern of cross-lines is present on the pale hindwing, but much fainter and without the bands of color. Covell (1984) indicates a wingspan of 1.8 to 2.5 cm.
According to Handfield (1999) and Covell, the larvae of Xanthorhoe ferrugata feed on a variety of low plants, including chickweed, ground ivy, knotweed, smartweed and others. Handfield indicates two generations per year for my general area, with adult flight seasons from early May into the second half of June, and from about the beginning of July to early September." — From Lynn Scott's Lepidoptera Images
Geometridae is a large family of moths containing approximately 26,000 species. Most moths in this family have slender abdomens and hold their wings flat, with hindwings visible. The name geometer means "earth-measurer" in Latin. It refers to the caterpillar's peculiar method of locomotion; they lack the prolegs of most other lepidoptera, and move by grabbing the substrate with their front legs then looping the body upwards to pull the back legs forward, then reversing the process. The caterpillars are commonly called inchworms, loopers, or spanworms.
This geometrid has some of the best tree bark camouflage I've ever seen.
Order Lepidoptera: Moths. Unlike the butterflies, moths are usually nocturnal. Many moths and their caterpillars are major agricultural pests in large parts of the world. Moths in the family Tineidae are commonly regarded as pests because their larvae eat fabrics, clothes and blankets made from natural fibers such as wool or silk. Moths in the genus Farinalis feed on stored grain, flour, corn meal and other milled grain products.
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