April 7, 2021
Ben here with the Wednesday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!
I'm always excited to find a cool new moth that I'm unfamiliar with, and this is a pretty neat one! While it may look like a small butterfly, this is actually Psychomorpha epimenis, also known as the grapevine epimenis moth!
These moths can be found on the wing in the eastern half of the U.S. from late March through early May, and they're active during the day. Interestingly, they're the only species within the genus Psychomorpha (which kind of sounds like a long-lost 1980s arcade game), although there are two subspecies, one of which is found only in Florida and has a larger red hindwing patch than the more common subspecies.
These moths can be found in the woods and at woodland edges. As the common name suggests, the larvae of these moths feed exclusively on grapevines. Oddly enough, I'm not aware of any grapevines on my family property, so unless there are some wild grapes out in the woods that I'm not aware of, I'm not sure where this guy came from!
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
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