Subject: Moth dreaming it’s a Butterfly
Location: Costa Mesa
May 25, 2012 3:01 am
I found this little white beauty hanging out on a bush by a steetlight. It looked like a moth, acted like a moth, went for light like a moth and was out at night like a moth. However, it liked to hold its wings like a butterfly – I presume to annoy people who are trying to identify it. It’s stumped me, certainly. I’m pretty sure its a moth and not a butterfly who happens to be a night owl, but nothing looks like it on the website I reference for regional moths.
Signature: butterfly dreaming she’s a moth hobbiest
Dear butterfly dreaming she’s a moth hobbiest,
It is a fallacy that all butterflies rest with wings folded over their backs and all moths rest with their wings flat, but it is a generalization that is often true and it is one of the characteristics that is frequently cited so that the average person can distinguish a moth from a butterfly. Here is a photo of a Mourning Cloak Butterfly resting with wings flat and a Polyphemus Moth resting with its wings folded, both breaking the generalized rule. Your moth is a Geometrid Moth in the family Geometridae, but we are uncertain of the species. A quick browse through BugGuide shows how many similar looking species there are in North America.