Hooktip Moth

2014 December 3

Fast-forwarding through a long, cold, and mostly insect-free winter, here is the first of several moths that came to our porch light on June 1, 2014

The hooked wingtips mean that it pretty much has to be the Arched Hooktip, Drepana arcuata. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this species, here’s the single previous photo I have (from May 2012):

It’s not quite identical, that previous one had much bolder, darker markings than the one from this year:

And looking at other pictures of this moth around the internet, it appears to have pretty strong variations in color. But, the hook at the tip of the wings is always there, and this exact feature evidently doesn’t appear on any other North American moths, so it is still easy to identify even in the face of the wide range of color differences.

The caterpillars eat alder leaves, which they fold in half and tie up with silk to make a shelter. They overwinter as pupae, so if I were to go back to our patch of alders and check the leaves, there is a good chance I’d find some folded leaves with pupae in them that could be reared next spring.

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