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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Western Sheepmoth

I photographed this beautiful pair of moths at American Camp, and after finding this handy butterfly and moth ID Guide on Flickr determined that they are Western Sheepmoths. Apparently, they have a two year developmental life cycle (one year as a caterpillar, and an overwintering period as a cocoon) that culminates in a single day as adults emerge in early morning and reproduce in the afternoon (which is what I assume is going on here). I feel amazingly lucky to have captured such a striking and such a fleeting moth.


The K said...

Pardon the prior 2 deleted comments. Having problems with my html.

Have you looked at this listing ?

The range map is really odd -- includes SJI and some other scattered counties in Washington. But, they only show a photo of the caterpillar stage. Love you mating moths.

Monika Wieland said...

That's actually the first site I used to try and come up with an ID, since I have successfully used it before to identify species of butterflies. I actually came across that very page in my searches but obviously missed it as being the correct species without the photo of the adult.