Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Le Conte’s Haploa Moth

A week ago, In the River Bend Nature Area near Faribault, Minnesota, Scott King and I found two Le Conte’s Haploa Moths. Just by looking at these two photos, you can see that this moth is a variable creature (some can even be all white, others much more complexly patterned). Often the species looks similar to other closely related moths. I base my identification on a photo from the Fontenelle Forest Nature Association website, which I consider to be reliable. The website mentions that this moth’s caterpillars favor a variety of herbaceous and woody plants, including apples and willows. The caterpillars overwinter and pupate in the spring.
Haploa moths are sometimes called Crusader Moths, as their black back markings are often graced with black crosses like on crusader's cloaks. Haploa is the moth’s genus and comes from the Greek for simple or single. I assume Le Conte is the same individual for whom Le Conte’s Sparrows are named.

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