Tuesday, May 29, 2012
New Moth Discovery
A large moth with soft yellow colored wings and brown spots. It could be one of two species in the Xanthotype genus, either X. sospeta (Crocus Geometer) or X. urticaria (False Crocus Geometer).
According to Moths & Caterpillars of the North Woods and BugGuide.net, identification to species is not possible except by examining the internal reproductive anatomy.
When I discover a new butterfly or moth species in the yard, I'm always curious what the larval host plants are and if I have any of them.
The Crocus Geometer (Xanthotype sospeta) feeds on the following natives that I have in my yard: Red Maple, New Jersey Tea, Dogwood species, American Basswood, American Elm, Chokecherry and Nannyberry Viburnum.
The False Crocus Geometer (Xanthotype urticaria) feeds on the following natives that I have in my yard: Sweet Fern, Dogwood species, and Goldenrod species.
The Natural History Museum website has a host plant and butterfly/moth database that is very useful for cross-referencing.