Monday, February 6, 2012

Unidentified "red" moth (notodontidae)

Hey ya'll 

Just after my fortuitous and unexpected run in with the beautiful disphania subrepleta a few days ago, it seems that my good luck has been extended, for we found a rather strange and beautifully colored moth on the wall outside of our little apartment complex.

Anyway, as you can perhaps observe, it is a rather strange looking moth. At a superficial glance it appears to have only four (two pairs) of legs but this is of course not true and if you look a little more closely you might be able to see the foremost pair of legs tucked up real close to its body. Also interesting is the presence of a snout-like protrusion at the front portion of the moth, where in other species the proboscis might instead be. I must admit, rather than make a fool out of myself, that my knowledge is somewhat limited when it comes to moths and I'm not sure I have encountered an insect quite like this before. Indeed, I have heard of "snout moths" but I do not think that this is one of them. Indeed the stout body and the alignment of the wings seem to point instead to the family notodontidae, which was somewhat confirmed by an acquaintance of mine who narrowed it down possibly to the Gangarides sp.   I intend to add this to my fairly new (but growing) moth collection and it has since been left to dry on one of my spreading trays, but I still would appreciate it if anyone could step forward and help me out here with a more definite identification on the species. More interesting of this family is perhaps their larvae which go to extreme lengths to disguise themselves sometimes adopting features like "faces" or trailing tentacles, perhaps most prominent in the case of the lobster moth larvae which looks something like this:

Stauropus fagi larvae
Now isn't that a creature only a lepidopter-entomologist could love?! 


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