July 19, 2021
Ben here with the Monday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!
At this point, I should just put together a coffee table book of cool moths. Case in point: this underwing moth, most likely the species Catocala ultronia, the ultronia underwing!
Underwing moths are the sleeper hotrods of the moth world. When their wings are folded, they look fairly drab. However, when they take flight or part their wings, they reveal brightly colored hindwings! These hindwings can be orange, white, red, or even blue!
It's believed that the purpose of these visually striking hindwings is to startle predators; when the moths take flight, the bright wings supposedly resemble the eyes of another predator and frighten off the moth's attacker.
There are about 250 different species in the genus Catocala, a little less than half of which can be found in North America. This particular species is mostly found in the eastern half of the U.S., and the caterpillars feed on members of the rose family, such as apple and cherry trees.
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (www.cbtcares.com).
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!