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.
The 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.
I 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.
- UPDATE: August 16, 2012
They are Harrisina americana, or Grapeleaf Skeletonizer, which makes sense because they were chowing down on my grape vines.
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.
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.
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.