Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pale Beauty

Pale Beauty (Campaea perlata)
Roger found this moth on the side of our house. You know what happens after the photographs? The online search begins for identification. I find it very hard to identify moths. There are so many, and really, so many look alike. For this one, though, I actually got pretty close. I narrowed it down to the right family. I found the Emerald Moth from Geometridae family, the Geometrini tribe. It looked right, it's green! But all of the descriptions said how large the wings were. Our little moth was only about an inch and a half, the Emerald is nearly two and a half inches. A nice green moth, but no match.
Emerald Moth (Geometra papilionari)
So, I sent the photo to Bev over at Burning Silo, and she had an answer in just a few hours. I don't quite know how she does it, but she's an incredible authority on insects. She wrote to say our moth is called a Pale Beauty and is in the Geometridae family.

When we look at the moth, it occurs to us that could have named it ourselves. Anyone could have come up with that name after looking at those scallop-edged wings, and that soft pale green color. Pale Beauty, of course. The name just makes me think of all the other animals we see around our house that could be called pale beauties.
Like this moth that we never identified.
Or this bird that we think is the shy Swainson's Thrush, with a song that makes our hearts leap.
Or this White-crowned Sparrow enjoying a moment in the pond, splashing with joyous abandon.

We often see pale beauty everywhere, but now have seen the real thing, that Pale Beauty moth just waiting to be discovered.

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