October 27, 2021
It's time for today's edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!
I love cool-looking moths, and sadly, the peak time for spotting moths is now firmly in our rearview window. However, there are still a few moths fluttering about in southwest Virginia, like this showy emerald moth (Dichorda iridaria)!
This is one of the geometer moths belonging to the family Geometridae. The larval forms of the moths in this family are commonly called "inchworms" for the looping way they move, almost as though they're taking measurements. This behavior is reflected in the scientific name; "geometer" roughly translates to "to measure the Earth."
The showy emerald is a small but very attractive moth that can be found throughout much of the eastern half of North America. If you're not a fan of poison ivy, this is a moth to be celebrated! The caterpillars feed on poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), along with staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) and winged sumac (Rhus copallinum). Despite the name, the latter two aren't closely related to poison sumac.
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!