Friday, May 13, 2011

large yellow underwing ~ 05/13/11 ~ at home

large yellow underwing moth / European yellow underwing
Noctua pronuba

Well, as I've said before, I'm not always spot on in my IDs and will correct myself whenever I can. On March 22, 2011, I found a pupa while turning soil in one of my compost containers (click the embedded link to read that particular post). You can see the split, empty pupal casing in the second picture above. I had hoped the pupa was a painted tiger moth (Arachnis picta), considering I released my 2nd instar caterpillars in that open container 4 months before. Nope, I was wrong. Jennifer, a regular commenter on Nature ID and local friend, was correct in guessing it was a cutworm, as the caterpillar stage of this moth is also commonly known as a winter cutworm, an introduced species to North America from Europe and elsewhere. The morning I took this picture on 05/13/11 (I'm backposting on 05/25/11), it was lethargic, yet walking around a bit, so I'm guessing it must have just emerged. The next day, I tried to get a picture of its beautiful yellow hindwings, but it flew off in a flurry toward the sun.

ps - Again, many thanks to Chris Grinter of The Skeptical Moth for identifying several moths for me from e-mailed photos during my illness. While I'm feeling much better now, I'm desperately trying to catch up with work and regular life stuff. For those who have commented or e-mailed me, it may take a while before I can get around to replying.


biobabbler said...

"it flew off in a flurry toward the sun." Nice writing! Just found 3 things in the garden that look like that (the chrysalis). Tried to get my sick chicken to eat one, pecked once, and gave up. Felt bad for the creature, but I'm getting desperate. Enjoying the moth and the tidy tips posts. =) bb

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Thanks, bb! I'm still catching up on things, the least of which is blog reading. Will have to visit your blog to see what's up with your chicken.