Monday, July 13, 2009


Here is one of the specimens from Monterey, or more specifically Carmel. I keyed it out to Geometridae, and based on species images it is probably Scopula junctaria, but I submitted it for a second opinion since "looks like" identifications are hardly accurate. The superfamily Geometroidea contains the family Sematuridae, Uraniidae, and Geometridae. They all have bare probosces, and the larvae of Geometridae are long and slender. The larvae are commonly called "inchworms" or "measuringworms." The family Geometridae is the second largest among Lepidoptera, with 1,400 species in North America. They are mostly nocturnal and are genearlly small, delicate, and slender-bodied. The wings are broad with fine, wavy colorations. The males and females are usually different colors. They feed on nectar and the larvae feed on deciduous trees.

Lepidoptera; Geometroidea; Geometridae; Sterrhinae; Scopulini; Scopula junctaria
Common Name: Simple Wave Geometrid Moth

There are 38 species within the genus Scopula, 24 in the US, and they can be found across the country, coast to coast. A Geometrid moth of the subfamily Ennominae was one of the first studied examples of industrial melanism. In Great Britain, where heavy industry covers tree trunks with soot, the light-colored individuals of the moth have been replaced by dark variants which are otherwise rare. This example of natural selection was described in my first science classes - predators will easily find a light colored moth against a sooty tree, and have trouble finding darker morphs.

No comments:

Post a Comment