“…mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
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DISCLAIMERI am a photographer, not an entomologist. I do my best to have professionals assist in identifying the subjects of my photographs. However, positive identifications can not always be done unless the specimen is dead and viewed under a microscope. If you do find an error, or have doubts about the identification provided, please let me know in the comments or by email.
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Category Archives: Geometridae
This looper, probably Synchlora aerata, the caterpillar of the Wavy-lined Emerald, was found at Dinosaur Provincial Park on 30 May, 2012. I first noticed it because it was shaking “in the wind”. The only problem was, it was during a brief windless lull, so the unusual movement attracted my attention rather than causing me to overlook it. At first I thought it may have been parasitized and that the ‘ornaments’ were spent pupal cocoons, but when I looked at the photographs later, it does seem that the looper actually has attachment points for the adornments, which appear to be flower petals.
Visit the U of A Entomology Collection for more on this moth.
ID’d by Janet Scott, Gary Anweiler and Chris Schmidt at AltaLeps
While going through my older files, I came across this image, a Operophtera bruceata (Hulst, 1886) moth resting on a leaf in the autumn of 2007. Known as the Bruce Spanworm or the Winter Moth, O. bruceata is in the Geometridae Family, so-called because of the looper caterpillars which seem to measure (Greek: metron) the earth (geo). We know that this is a male because the females have undeveloped wings and do not fly. The adults are active in fall, when the female ascends tree trunks and attracts the flying male. After mating, eggs are laid in cracks and crevices on the trunk and branches, where they overwinter. The larvae hatch in spring,and feed mostly on aspen, beech and maple as well as other deciduous plants. They pupate in the summer and emerge in fall.
Photographed October 8, 2007 in Long Lake Provincial Park, Alberta. Identified by Dr.Charles Bird.