Posts Tagged ‘wingspan’

What a Surprise! Part 1

I went out after supper last night, and there on the side of the sweetgum tree was a luna moth.

 I haven’t seen one of these for years! It tolerated my presence while I took pictures … and more pictures.

The evening light slightly changed the color of the moth.

Moths have feathery antennae. Butterflies don’t.

This spot looks like an eye and would keep predators away.

A luna moth’s wingspan measures between 3.0 -4.25 inches wide.

I didn’t realize they had such a large body.


A Snout Butterfly


A snout butterfly (Libytheana carinenta) flew into my butterfly garden and landed near me.


It’s obvious it got its name from the long labial palps (mouth parts on either side of its proboscis).


It looks like it’s been a while since the ragged butterfly emerged.


They have a 1 3/8 to 2 inch wingspan and lay their eggs in hackberry trees (several grow in our yard.)


 It flew away to I don’t know where.

Tobacco Hornworm

“Parts” on this tobacco hornworm aren’t what they appear to be.

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What looks like an eye is actually a fake eye.

There are four teeny tiny eyes just above the three thoracic legs — the white legs with black bands. They are very hard to see.

The larger black spots along the side of the body are actually spiracles where the caterpillar breathes.

This was the only hornworm feeding on my tobacco plants (nicotina sylvestris).

The moths have a wingspan up to five-and-a-half-inch. The adults visit tubed flowers at dusk.

Great Spangled Fritillary

Our butterfly numbers have been low so far this spring.


Then, this morning, I found a great-spangled fritillary perched in my butterfly garden .


It didn’t mind my attention at all, and posed in poses I could use.


Great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele cybele) is a common butterfly in southern Illinois from mid-May through early October. Their wingspan of 2.6 to 3.5 inches makes them easy to spot.

Cloudless Sulphur


Cloudless sulphur butterflies (Phoebis sennae eubule) usually arrive in southern Illinois later in the summer.


Red flowers, like this red salvia, attract their attention. They prefer tubed flowers, and lay their eggs on members of  pea family.


Their wingspan ranges from 2 1/4 to 3 1/8 inches.


 They migrate back south in the fall.

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Moth

What I thought was a plume moth turned out to be a grapeleaf skeletonizer moth (Harrisina americana).

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Its host plants include wild grapes and Virginia creeper. Their length measures 8-12 mm and wingspan 18-28 mm.

Least Skipper

They’re not called a least skipper for nothing.


The least skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor) wingspan measures 7/8 to 1 1/8 inches. It only posed for one picture. This picture shows the yellowish underside of the hindwing, and the lighter outer band on the underside of the forewing. Their caterpillars feed on grasses.