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Curve-Toothed Geometer Moth

Eutrapela clemataria


Roughly 10 cm. wide with both sets of wings splayed at rest, the hindwings carry the same camouflage pattern of the forewings. The thorax is bristly with brown hairs like a luxurious fur coat. Shades of brown and tan help this beautiful member of the Lepidoptera order blend in to wooded settings, and could easily pass as a dry leaf. Distinct markings include a white stripe running horizontally across the wingspread, and a small black dot at the top of each forewing may perhaps be remnants from more a pronounced "eye spot" pattern from distant ancestors on the evolutionary timeline. No proboscis visible, as many moths emerge from cocoons without mouth parts, living very briefly after only to breed.


Deciduous and mixed forests


The larvae of Geometridae, the geometer moths, are known commonly as "inchworms" - the prolegs usually found down the length of most caterpillars is missing or rudimentary in the center of the bodies of this family, and therefore they "inch" their way around eating a wide variety of foliage from both broad-leaved and coniferous trees. This and one more of the same nocturnal species (the other with slightly darker brown shading around the distinct forewing dots) both entered my dorm window after midnight, confused by the artificial light of my desk lamp. I was waiting for them to pass naturally so that I may finally begin a Lepidoptera collection without personally killing these wonderful creatures. However, they seem to like the radiator and I may not be able to retrieve them.

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Nicholas Trapeni
Spotted by
Nicholas Trapeni

Vermont, USA

Spotted on May 29, 2014
Submitted on May 31, 2014

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