Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name?

I found this pretty moth at my son's house, last Monday. I've been spending hours ever since, looking at BugGuide's photos, to see if I could identify it.

Eurrhypara hortulata

Small Magpie Moth
Did you know that BugGuide has 924 pages of moth photos, with 24 thumbnails per page? That's 22,176 moth photos to browse.

I thought it might be a geometrid moth. Limiting myself to Geometrid photos, I find 150 pages, 3,600 photos. So far, I've looked at over 2000 of them, and found none to match.

My eyes are tired.

Added: It's an Eurrhypara hortulata, Small Magpie Moth. Thanks to Seabrooke! (Comment # 3)


  1. Trying to I.D. bugs ... one's eyes do give out with the looking!!

  2. I don't do Moths, even though I have several field guides and books on moths. too many. I do like them though. Nice photo.

    Have a nice weekend.

    There's a party over here.
    Come and visit for a while,

  3. It's actually part of the family Pyralidae - many are similar to the Geometrids in that they'll sit with their wings spread, but they tend to be more triangular than broad, with heads that protrude well in front of the wings, and I find their large bug-eyed look fairly distinctive.

    Try Small Magpie Moth, Eurrhypara hortulata.

    I use the Moth Photographers Group website to identify moths, I find it easier to browse through than BugGuide. However, although it illustrates more moths and often with better photos, it doesn't give any info on the species so you need to go back to BugGuide to find out more about it.

  4. Cis;
    ... and after a while, I begin to dream about photos of moths.

    Troy, I have a few books, too. I use them to get a general idea of the family my critter is likely to be found in, and then head for BugGuide and Google Images.

    Thanks, Seabrooke, That's it! And I have at least one photo that would add to BugGuide's page, I think. (Different angle; mouthparts.)

    I've bookmarked the Moth Photographers' Group. Thanks!

  5. Glad that was helpful! There's a serious need for a good moth guide out there, and myself and a friend are actually working on negotiating a deal with a publisher to produce one (he's the expert, I'm the grunt :). Unfortunately, it'll just be for the northeast (our comfort zone), but there'll be a lot of species that have continent-wide ranges. Our deadline will be 2010, but I think we're hoping to have it out before then.


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