August 14, 2021
We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature update presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust! The following post was originally published on July 21, 2020.
I realize I post a lot of moths, but this is because I love moths and find them endlessly fascinating. Case in point: Eudryas grata, the "beautiful wood nymph" moth.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this moth is that it's a mimic. Believe it or not, Eudryas grata has evolved to resemble bird poop! It might not be the most appealing fashion choice, but if you're a tasty snack, it's handy to look like something that not many critters would ever want to eat.
These unique moths can be found across much of the eastern U.S., and the caterpillars feed on the foliage of a variety of plants, including buttonbush, hops, grapes, and Virginia creeper. As with many moths, the adults do not eat.
The next time you step outside and see that tell-tale white spot on your car, don't head straight to the carwash; check to make sure it's not just a Eudryas grata!
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!