Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Moths in the Maple Sap

Posted by Kirk Mona

Every year when it comes time to tap the maple trees I love spending time outdoors. The world is waking up from winter. We hear the first sandhill cranes, the red-shouldered hawks are prowling the woods and calling out on territory. The red-bellied woodpeckers are territorial drumming and making nest holes. This is also when we find the first moths of the year. Every morning we find moths in the sap bags. They can't resist the sweet sap of the maple trees. Some drown but many survive.

This year I decided to find out what species of moth it is that we see every year. I took the above photo earlier this week. It appears to be Straight-toothed Sallow (Eupsilia vinulenta). Though, there are a few very similar species that can only be distinguished under a microscope. I originally had no idea what this moth was. I'm not really an insect guy. I figured it out by discovering a photo of the very similar European species The Satellite (Eupsilia transversa).

The name the Satellite comes from the little spots that seem to orbit like satellites around the larger spot on the fore wings. What a cool name! It is much cooler than "Straight-toothed Sallow."

North American Satellite Moth anyone?

~Kirk

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