Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Recently spotted

We have abundant wild grapevine (I believe they are Mustang grapes, Vitis mustangensis)) and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) on our property, so I've come to expect the annual emergence of Alypia octomaculata, or Eight Spotted Forester Moth.  A day flier, these moths are often mistaken for butterflies and it is easy to see why.  They are fairly flashy for a moth.

Here in the southern parts of its range, the eight spot has two flights, the first beginning, well, nowish.  I noticed the first one here a week or so ago but by the time I retrieved my camera it had fluttered off.
The orange tufts on the legs resemble the corbicula (pollen baskets) on a bee though they don't serve that purpose.  
I caught this guy in a more cooperative mood.  He seemed fine with my presence so I snapped a few shots before retreating back into my filtered-air haven where I could admire his striking coloration in safety.


Tina said...

Oh, so beautiful!! I love moths. They're so often overshadowed by their more flashy relatives, butterflies, but if you look close, they have such beautiful coloring. One doesn't have to look close to appreciate this guy. Thanks for braving the oak-pollen breezes to share him with us.

TexasDeb said...

Tina: I love moths as well. And - I have to admit a bit of favoritism here - I really admire these particular moths and was happy to discover I already had their host plants provided in abundance (as in didn't get around to pulling them out!) . It has been an accidental advantage to some of my lazier tendencies!