Powdered Bigwing

2013 February 23

This moth from May 26, 2012 looks to me like one of the “Carpet Moths”. The picture isn’t as blurry as it looks at first, the moth actually looks that blurry in real life.

After spending some time browsing possibilities, I tentatively propose that it is a Powdered Bigwing[1], Lobophora nivigerata. Probably a female, based on how thin the antennae are and how thoroughly hidden under the wings they are.

This is apparently another of the moths whose caterpillars eat aspen leaves (they eat other leaves too, like willow and tamarack, but aspen looks to be their favorite). With all these things that eat their leaves, you’d think the aspens would get defoliated every year. But they pull through somehow.

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[1] That’s “bigwing”, not “bigwig”. I keep accidentally typing “bigwig”.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Carole permalink
    February 23, 2013

    I bet their larva make excellent meals for birds.

  2. February 24, 2013

    In terms of making signal detection more problematic for predators, it would probably work better if the right and left wings had different color gradations. Blurring your eyes and looking at the moth, you see a darker triangle and a lighter trapezoid. It makes the surface area that stands out against any background smaller than it would be if the moth was monochromatic. I’d think that if you divided it up into three triangles of varying shading, it would pose a still more difficult task for detectors.

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