Entries by Betty Ann Rubinow

Curve-toothed Geometer

Common name: Curved-toothed geometer Scientific name: Eutrapela clemataria Food: Larvae feed on leaves of ash, basswood, birch, elm, fir, maple, poplar, willow and other trees. Ecology: These geometers live in deciduous and mixed woodlands. Their scientific name derives from the Ancient Greek “measure” “the earth” in reference to the way their larvae, or inchworms, appear to “measure […]

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar and Aphids

Monarch butterfly caterpillar and aphids, Fishers Island NY, August 2015 Scientific names: Danaus plexippus and Aphis nerri Here’s a bit of hidden moth science, provided by entomologist Adam Mitchell, PhD: Like animals, plants have an “immune system” and have a series of finely-tuned responses to specific stressors in their environment. When a leaf is chewed, signals are […]

Delicate Cycnia

Common name: Delicate cycnia or dogbane tiger moth, Fishers Island NY, June 2017 Scientific name: Cycnia tenera Season: Two generations in the Northeast, with adults in late spring into June and again in the fall. Food: Caterpillars feed on milkweeds and dogbanes, but they feed on older, mature leaves, as opposed to monarch caterpillars, which […]

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Common Name: Eastern tent caterpillar moth Scientific Name: Malacosoma americana Season: One generation, with caterpillars appearing first in April into late May, and adults by June. Food: Caterpillars feed primarily on cherry trees, but may build nests on apple and crabapple as well. Ecology*: As the name implies, the caterpillars of this moth form a […]

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Moth Nest

Common Name: Eastern tent caterpillar moth Scientific Name: Malacosoma americana Season: One generation, with caterpillars appearing first in April into late May, and adults by June. Food: Caterpillars feed primarily on cherry trees, but may build nests on apple and crabapple as well. Ecology*: As the name implies, the caterpillars of this moth form a […]

Eyed Paectes

Common name: Eyed paectes, Fishers Island, NY, June 2017 Scientific name: Paectes oculatrix Season: There are multiple generations of eyed paectes in the Northeast, with adults present by April through the fall. Food: As caterpillars, they feed exclusively on poison ivy. Ecology: Eyed paectes hold their abdomens upward while resting, which, in this photo, makes […]

Giant Leopard Moth

Common name: Giant Leopard Moth Scientific name: Hypercompe scribonia, Fishers Island NY. June 2017. Season: One generation a year in the Northeast, with adults in June, caterpillars through the summer and over the winter, then turn into pupae the following spring. Food: A variety of broadleaf plants, such as dandelions and violets. Ecology: A large […]

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer

Common name: Grapeleaf skeletonizer, Fishers Island NY, June 2017 Scientific name: Harrisina americana Season: At least two generations in the Northeast. Food: Adults feed on grape leaves and the nectar of many flowers. Ecology: Caterpillars are gregarious feeders (i.e., feed together in large groups) and are able to defoliate grapes, eating grape leaves down to […]

Gray-edged Hypena

Common name: Gray-edged hypena, Fishers Island NY, June 2017 Scientific name: Hypena madefactalis  Season: One generation per year, adults common by June. Food: As caterpillars, the gray-edged hypena feeds exclusively on walnut, and in the Northeast, black walnut (Juglans nigra) is its favorite. Ecology: The gray-edged hypena, like many moths and caterpillars, are specialist feeders, […]