Why is this called the pink-striped oakworm moth?! Oh. Duh.

Insect Moth pink striped oak

Don’t you think “Sunset Moth” would be more appropriate than “Pink-striped Oakworm Moth”? Maybe not. Now that I look at it again there is a prominent pink stripe. It was on my kitchen screen door this morning offering a photo opportunity. It is a species of silk moth of the family Saturniidae and is considered a pest of forests because it defoliates trees. Primarily a pest of the urban forest, it is fairly common but not often abundant. Maybe that’s why I don’t recall seeing it before today. Adults do not feed. Males and females both have the white spot on wings. When I Googled it, I discovered lots of people take pictures of this colorful moth. One article said they don’t have antennae but I found a photo with lovely feather-like orange antennae.


‘Apologies to Robyn!’, ‘Belly up to the bar!’ or ‘Duck!’ Name this photo.


Could this be a Forage Looper, Robyn?  This moth was on the outside of my kitchen window on the morning of 1/26/17. Still dark. Approximately 39 degrees fahrenheit. Gone before sunrise so I didn’t get a top view.


Or is this a Forage Looper? Inside, after sunrise but no idea of temperature. HELP!


Notice how different the antennae and legs are, and how each moth holds its wings when at rest. Suddenly we’re face to face with moth ID clues!  I’m not sure  I’m up to the challenge, knowing that 11,000 kinds of moths have been recorded in the United States and Canada…

Moths in the kitchen!


Guess who loves moths? Me! This moth (#1) is on the inside of my kitchen door.


Compare to moth (#2) found in bathroom last week. Note how each one holds/folds its wings when ‘at rest’!


This is a darker picture of Moth #1. #1 and #2 both have fuzzy wing edges but different fuzz pattern. Also notice the difference in their heads. I wonder if that means they eat different things.


Enlargement. Sorry about focus.


Check reflection for details of thorax, abdomen and legs! Do you know what kind of moth this is? I will try to look it up.

Update: It is not a pantry moth or a clothes moth or a Forage Looper.

Another update: Maybe it is a Forage Looper! Just faded because it’s winter!

What do moths do in the bathroom?


Anavitrinella pampinaria – Common Gray Moth. I don’t know if that is the correct name for the moth hanging out in my bathroom. But after 2 hours of searching the internet, it is my best guess.

Moths are in the insect Order Lepidoptera, and share this Order with Butterflies. There are some 160,000 species of moths in the world, compared to 17,500 species of butterflies. In the United States, there are nearly 11,000 species of moths. Actually 11,000 is the number of moths that have been identified in the US. If you are looking for a new career, there are a lot more moths still to be discovered/identified. If you discover one, it might be named after you.


Enlargement doesn’t help show the incredible patterns created by the varying colors of their scales. But it does give a clearer view of the fabulously fuzzy edges of the wings. Made me think of the silencing edges of owl feathers. And there are wide-spread “eye” spots, normally said to make insects appear much larger to predators. Butterfly and moth wings are made of thin layers of  chitin, the same hardened protein that makes up their outside body. They are also covered with thousands of tiny scales that lend color to the wings. The wings are strengthened by a system of veins. It is amazing to watch a recently hatched butterfly or moth’s veins fill with fluid, creating a support system for their wings.

If anyone knows what this moth really is, please let me know. Also please sign up for my blog so you don’t miss any of them and help me find a ‘proper’ name for my blog. Someone suggested “Who the heck is Carrie Staples.wordpress.com”…