Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Grapevine Epimenis

On Monday, while walking in the Carleton College arboretum, Erika and I came face-to-face with Psychomorpha epimenis, a Grapevine Epimenis. This small, but beautiful, moth is found in woodlands across eastern North America. This species is the only one of its genus found north of Mexico.

The English name is odd. Ordinarily you might expect it to be called the Grapevine Psychomorpha. In any event, one source explains that the scientific names refers to this moth’s having “the soul of a butterfly.” The Grapevine Epimenis, like butterflies, often forages for minerals at the edge of mud puddles. Our individual seemed to be foraging for minerals on our path.  The larvae specialize on feeding on wild grape leaves, while adults take nectar from a number of flowering shrubs (Bugguide.net).

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