Moths Having Sex and Other Garden Variety Stuff

I took my camera out on the front porch before it hit 100° yesterday looking for any trace of the caterpillars I photographed last week. No luck. But the vines were teeming with these little black flying things that I decided are small moths.

Little Black MothThe only thing I have to go on is the little fan-like antenna that look like the antenna on a luna moth. It was hard to get a picture. The ones that weren’t flitting around were resting on the underside of the grape leaves. And then I found this pair out in the open. Maybe they belong to the moths-who-have-sex-in-public-places club.

Moths Having SexI googled “little black moth” but couldn’t identify it. I found photos of an iridescent black moth that looks similar but it didn’t have any red on it. And these are not iridescent. They’re about an inch long, maybe a little smaller.

I continued looking for any trace of my caterpillars and found this demon. We’ve had very little rain (we’re in a drought) and temps over 100° for nearly two weeks straight but it looks like this bad boy likes it dry and hot.

A thorny vineI’ve never seen it with so many tightly spaced thorns. While I wanted to yank it out of the ground, no way I was going to touch it without heavy gloves.

After a couple of shots I caught something else in the vicinity. Check out the funny little whitish shape in the center of the frame. It’s the zig-zag web of some kind of garden spider.

And of course, the spider is on the bottom of the web.

My best bet for a good shot would have been to lie my sweaty body down on the sticky dry grass and aim up at the spider.

garden spider
But I went with Plan B. Which was scrunching down as low as I could and pointing my camera up in the direction of the spider and shooting dozens of pix in hopes of getting something in focus.

Cottonwood SeedThen when I decided it was time to go inside and get the sweat out of my eyes this little ball of fuzz caught my attention. It’s a (potential) cottonwood tree. No wonder my eyes were itchy.

This is actually a latecomer. In the spring it looks like it’s snowing when the cottonwood seeds release from the gigantic tree across the creek from my back yard.

I’ll keep looking for a cocoon or something that might be those caterpillars.


About Jan

I write. I cook. I take pictures. I sew. I design. I create.
This entry was posted in Bugs, Plants, Spiders, Trees and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Moths Having Sex and Other Garden Variety Stuff

  1. Scott says:

    Cool moths. Yellow-collared (or orange-collared in this case) scape moth, perhaps?

    • Jan says:

      Scott – Thanks for the suggestion because it helped me find them. I think it’s related to the yellow-collared scape moth, but it’s much smaller. It’s a grapeleaf skeletonizer. Appropriate name since they were all over my grape vine. I’m going to update the post with a link to the ID. These pictures are from last summer, but I haven’t noticed any this year. I’ll have to take a closer look.

      • Scott says:

        Great! And your ID helped me because I knew I had recently seen this moth under “grape-“something-or-other but when trying to ID your moth I was looking for “grapevine moth” which didn’t turn up anything. So it’s the “grapeleaf skeletonizer” — good to know. Think I’ve seen one here or there. They look like fireflies to me.

  2. Jan says:

    I see the occasional bare grape leaf—no green, just the veins—and now I know who’s been eating my grape leaves!

  3. Pingback: Surprise! The Red Spider Lilies Are In Bloom | Cottonmouth Creek

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