Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mothra, part ni *

our immediately previous post included a picture of tomatoes and greens from the garden and several readers commented on early garden produce, so this post begins with pictures of the growing plants, a kinda bleed-through from then til now, and proceeds to an update to a slightly earlier post about a moth, after this introductory, run-on sentence.
in front collard and chard (from starts begun last november!), then carrots, mesclun, beets, all from seed sowed february 12.
this is a cherry tomato started from seed last november. it is a bit unruly. that is a banana tree (?) to the right. it has doubled its size in a year.

and now.....mothra redux

i recently posted pictures i had taken of a moth i found on our window. i spent some online time trying to id it so i could satisfy my curiosity about its life and add some info to a post about it. i was unsuccessful, but posted the pictures because i liked them. both form and content. many people came by with suggestions about its id and also suggestions about where i might look for help myself.

huitzil, of stone bridge, got it right away (Mesoleuca gratulata). and he said he was guessing. i'm impressed.

suzanne, at aufildutemps, sent me this link.

whisker suggested moth photographers, where i followed the links to submit photos and got a nice reply also indicating Mesoleuca gratulata, and offering to publish my photos! i accepted. whisker also sent this photo link.

wayne at niches has actual books. alas, no match.

soccer mom gets the "most relevant question" award for asking, rather sensibly, "how big is it?"

at this site, which i found by googling Mesoleuca gratulata, i see that the moth is posed with the wings spread out. i mean the two wings on each side. my own picture is of a live moth in its own resting posture, displaying only the prominently figured larger wing on each side. i scanned quickly by hundreds, at least, of pictures of moths with their wings pictured as above, because they didn't look like my moth picture. i guess i'd have to convince the moth to pose for me, or kill it and force a pose, to use pictures of moths in unnatural poses for id purposes. science marches on.

the english name is western white-ribboned carpet moth. entomologically challenged as i am, i would expect that the moth, or its larva, would eat carpet, or wool anyway. maybe cotton. the larva eat leaves of blackberry and hazelnut. here are pictures of larva and moth. the author notes that the moths sometimes get nectar from lilies.

thank you all for your help and encouragement.

* ni = two, in japanese. a salute to mothra.

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