Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finding a Pale Beauty in the Shower

There she was, a beguiling light green, sitting on white tile.   I found it quickly in Dominique Collet's Insects of south-central Alaska though the antenna feathering in the book's photo is much thicker than in my photo.

It's a Pale Beauty or Campaea Perlata.

Bug Guide tells us it can range from pale green to grayish-white, fading to yellow.  They are found from
"Alaska across Canada to Nova Scotia; south to central California, Arizona and Colorado; in the eastern U. S. south to North Carolina.(2)"
Their habitat is:
"coniferous, mixed, and deciduous forests and shrubby areas; adults are nocturnal and come to light, but in the arctic where summer nights are short or absent, adults fly during the day"
This one had come in to the light of the bathroom when it was as close to dark as it gets outside this time of year.
"[L]arvae have been reported to feed on leaves of 65 species of coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs, including alder, ash, basswood, beech, birch, blueberry, Buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis), cherry, fir, elm, hemlock, maple, oak, pine, poplar, rose, spruce, tamarack, willow [list taken from Handfield, 1999]"
And how do they survive the winter here?  Bug Guide says about the life cylce:
"two generations per year in the south; one generation in the far north; overwinters as a third-instar or fourth-instar larva, likely exposed on bark and branches"
Here's a picture showing this moth on the four inch square tile so you can see its size.

 You can tell a moth from a butterfly by the antennae.  Moths have feathered antennae (see top photo) and butterfly antennae are plain with a little knob on the end.  Enchanted Learning lists some other differences.


  1. Great video of Phil Hanson... amazing story.

    Congratulations on your new camera. Sounds like a great choice. And your comment about the best camera is the one on you, amen! I always carry a pocket camera with a decent zoom. It has allowed me to get some shots I would have missed simply because I didn't have my camera with me.

    Terrific shots of your shower visitor! Enjoy your new camera!

  2. Let me clarify Doug, This is the camera you saw when I met you. I switched to digital four or five years ago. I did actively use the Pentax for almost 40 years, so in that sense the Powershot is still new. But for a blogger, being able to instantly download and post my pictures is essential. Just can't do that with film.


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