oakworm

Moths are “boring and brown” is the stereotype I hear the most from folks.

Since it is National Moth Week I would have to resign in disgrace if I didn’t have a moth in this week’s column. This past Saturday I set up my sheet in at Kankakee Sands until about 1 a.m.

Two other people also had their sheets up down the road from me to capture moth week diversity in a social distanced way. I had a great night out in the woods despite the leftover humidity from one of the hottest days of the year.

I saw several solid moths and lots of other insect diversity. Moths are “boring and brown” is the stereotype I hear the most from folks. I aim to continue to tear that thinking down. One moth that will help me on that mission is this spiny oakworm moth.

A moth whose caterpillar uses oak trees as a host and is an orangish to pink adult. The name “spiny” comes from the caterpillar stage which has spines running down the back of it but they are not harmful.

On Saturday we had several show up between the three sheets. We have a lot of variety of oak trees in the region, so this moth should be findable in most areas near woodlands or savannas. Look for this moth from May to August though July seems to be a sweet spot.

If you have any moths this week at your porch light and can get a decent picture, please send it my way and I can help with identification. I will do more mothing this week in my backyard. Good luck out there.

Reach Trevor Edmonson at trevoredmonson@gmail.com.

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