Light Green Caterpillar with Black Spots

2014 October 29

Sam found these two light-green caterpillars with black spots on September 8, 2013. They were inside of a Queen-Anne’s-Lace seedhead [1]

The smaller one sure looks like the same species as the larger one, but one or two molts younger

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Little sideways-walking leafhopper or bark louse nymph

2014 October 25

We found this on the steps of the deer blind/playhouse out back on September 8, 2013. It was unusual in that it mostly scuttled sideways instead of walking forwards. It was also under 3 mm long and wouldn’t hold still very well, and so was hard to photograph.

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Crane Fly with Oval Wings

2014 October 22

This leggy crane fly is also from the September 8, 2013 porch-lighting. It is medium-sized as crane flies go, as we can see by comparing it to my fingertip.

It is somewhat unusual in that it has very oval-shaped wings that it folded over its back, giving it a pear-shaped appearance (and unfortunately also made it very difficult to distinguish the wing veins, which are key ID features for crane flies).

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Black, White, and Gray Moth with Close-Spaced Wavy Lines

2014 October 18

Here’s another medium-sized porch light moth from September 8, 2013

Given that it doesn’t have the kidney-shaped “reniform spot” that is common in most of the owlet moths, it is most likely something else. The best match I’ve found (it even has the right pattern of dark spots on its white feet), is the “Once-Married Underwing”[1], Catocala unijuga

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Reddish-brown moth with gray-mottled trim

2014 October 15

Here’s another medium-sized moth at our porch light on September 8, 2013.

This one gave me quite a bit of trouble, most of the search terms I could come up with were giving me pages and pages of only broadly similar moths. I ultimately ended up using Google Image Search to try to match my photo against the BugGuide database[1], which only sort of worked but was better than the alternatives. The closest I can find is the adult Bronzed Cutworm, Nephelodes minians, which is common, found in this area, and flies as adults in September. They are also highly variable in color, so while a lot of the adults don’t look much like my specimen here, some of them have this same orange-brown patch in the center of the wings, with four pale spots near the edges and gray trim all around.

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Light Brown Moths with Wavy Lines on Wings – Smoked Sallows

2014 October 11

Several of these medium-sized moths came to our porch light on September 8, 2013. They ranged from light brown to almost orange, and had a consistent pattern of wavy lines and spots on their wings. They were somewhat variable in the degree of shading, though, like this pair where one was light brown while the other was verging on orange.

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Polyphemus Moths

2014 October 8

Our neighbors across the street found this fine Polyphemus caterpillar on their back porch on September 2, 2013. We’d actually seen one of these before, but hey, one can always use more pictures of giant silkmoths, right?

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Another Gray-Brown Moth with a Bald Spot

2014 October 4

Here’s another one of those moths, from September 2, 2013, at the porch light. And by “those”, I mean “moths with few identifying features”.

It was one of the moths that pretty much plays dead during daylight hours. No real identifying marks on the underside, either.

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Ant Mating Flight in Driveway

2014 October 1

The anthills in our driveway started emitting winged ants on September 6, 2013. First the males came out,

and then the hills started spitting out young queens.

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Orange-Brown Moth with Scalloped, Curved Wings – Maple Spanworm

2014 September 27

I turned on the porch light again on September 6, 2013, and this fairly striking orange-brown moth was one of the things that came.

It looks to me like the adult form of the Maple Spanworm, Ennomos magnaria[1] These are pretty much masters of camouflage throughout their lives: the adult would blend in very well with dead maple leaves, and the caterpillar is supposed to be one of the better twig mimics. The only reason I ever even saw this one, is that it was drawn out of its preferred hiding place by the light.

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