Several Spring Geometrid Moths, Mostly Curved-Tooth Geometers

2014 December 13

Here are several Geometrid moths from June 1, 2014. These first few all look like the same species, and I’m estimating their wingspans at about 2 inches.

I believe that these are Curved-Tooth Geometers, Eutrapela clemataria. We’ve seen these before, but not in such profusion.

They look kind of similar to some other geometrid moths, but the distinguishing features are that their wing margins are wavy or scalloped, and the line running across horizontally is a pale line on a darker background. The other, similar moths have smoother wing margins, and a dark line on a lighter background. In all cases, though, they are mimicking a dead leaf, where the line is representing the long vein that runs down the middle of a leaf.

And here’s a closeup of one of their heads, showing the white antennae and the white patch across the top of the head.

Their caterpillars are among the many different kinds of inchworms, and I photographed this one way back in 2010. They are large for inchworms, and eat the leaves from a variety of woody plants.

Adult geometrids tend to rest with their wings flat and slightly spread so that the hindwings are distinctly visible. Like this next one, which is a different species but still rests with the same pose as the previous ones.

Of course, this is not universal. Some geometrids rest with their wings in a delta-pattern, like this one.

While the way they hold their wings at rest isn’t an infallible ID feature for Geometrids, it does seem to work most of the time.

One Response
  1. Sean Radvansky permalink
    December 16, 2014

    Hi Tim, I love your blog. Very detailed and informative! I’m putting together an article on bug information for homeowners and would like you use you as one of my sources. Would you send me an email so we can discuss more?

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