I was going through my images from 2015, looking to dispose of as much excess as possible in order to make space on my hard drive when I came across a few moth images that I had forgotten about. This is probably my favorite so far — Pero morrisonaria (H. Edwards, 1881) from the family Geometridae, which was caught at a light in our Edmonton garden May 30 last year. (Thanks to Gary Anweiler for the ID) On a white background, the pattern is very distinct, yet on bark we can see how useful this mottled earth-tone pattern is.
Morrison’s Pero is considered common and is found across the US and Canada. The caterpillars are twig mimics and feed mostly on fir and spruce, but have also been found on a variety of broadleaf plants such as alder and willow.
An interesting feature on this moth is the partly ‘rolled’ leading edge of the forewing, and I wonder if this has the effect of strengthening its cryptic appearance or aerodynamics or if it serves another function.
N.B. For what is to follow, I advise caution: I am not an entomologist or a taxonomist, or a lepidopterist for that matter. Some may find this simplified trail of taxonomy (classification and nomenclature) interesting, others may find it ridiculous. I pursued it out of idle curiosity, because I appreciate history and the work of taxonomists, and because sometimes I’m a buffoon for science.